Kal are the hottest Roma (often called "Gypsy") band from the suburbs of Belgrade, rock’n’roll in attitude, fueled on urban beats and rooted in the Balkan blues. In their wit, imagination and ability to throw disparate sounds together they mark themselves as both part of Balkan Gypsy tradition and 21 st century lifestyle. Kal – the word in Romani for “black” – were formed by the Ristic brothers, Dusan and Dragan, to confront the prejudices and cliches the Roma face. Dragan, a theatre producer who has set up Romani theatre groups in Budapest and Belgrade, and Dusan, a painter; aimed to use Kal to blend influences from traditional Balkan Gypsy Music with the contemporary music thay heard while living in Belgrade and Budapest.
For their firsat international album, Dragan reshaped the band’s line-up and pushed the envelope of what a 21st century Roma roots band can achieve. Recorded on a bare bones budget at Dragan’s ramshackle home studio this brilliant, intuitive album shifts Gypsy soul into cyberspace. To help achieve this mix, Kal employed Mike Nielsen to mix, arrange, find beats and produce the album. Nielsen’s experience involves everything from mixing Dizzy Gillespie’s live sound through working with Maori and Turkish musicians to producing Underworld, Jamiroquai and Natasha Atlas.
Ristic’s vision of how Kal embrace 21st century Roma music is a generous one: bhangra rhythms underpin one song, a violin dances around a two-step rhythm played on double bass, weeping Hawaiian steel guitar drifts over a lovely waltz tempo, an accordion feeds tango flavours, Montenegran rock satirist Rambo Amadeus delivers an acerbic, hiccuping rap whilst the striking voices of Zumrita Jakupovic, Dragana Berakovic and Adil Maksutovic lend earthy, sensual qualities to the songs.
Free tracks can be downloaded at their offical website, www.b92.net/music/catalogue/e/KAL.html. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.