Balkan Beat Box by Toph One
At the Great American Music Hall
Balkan Beat Box performs on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 9 p.m. Admission is $15; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com for more info.
Imagine the frantic live drumming of Crash Worship mixed with the chorus girls from a Russian circus, throw in some wailing Eastern European horns, and you've got the tip of the Balkan Beat Box iceberg. The group also liberally sprinkles Israeli rhythms, ragga toasting, and Latin flavors throughout Nu Med, a New World stew chock full of Old World sounds. DJs/producers Tamir Muskat and Ori Kaplan, veterans of the New York live music scene (Gogol Bordello, Firewater) are the founders of this semifluid outfit, and they bring a passion for Mediterranean music to the band. The Arabic-flavored "Hermetico" features vocalist Tomer Yosef's rapid-fire delivery and Itamar Ziegler's dubwise bass playing, while the lovely "Joyo Boro" merges mellow electronica with klezmer horns, surf guitar, and singer Dessislava Stefanova's otherworldly, high-pitched voice. With horns, bass, guitar, and vocal elements representing Morocco, Bulgaria, Spain, Israel, and Turkey, the one Balkan Beat Box constant is an ever-present and highly danceable beat. This sophomore release brings together unexpected elements into a joyous whole, blending the newly hot sounds of the Baltic and Mediterranean with 21st-century hip hop and dancefloor styles.