Friday, January 21

hop! hop!! HOPLA!!!

somewhere in 2005 i was sitting in my penthouse apartment in the verdant mountains of taiwan* on a rainy sunday afternoon.

i got a call from a friend who was in love and sexing it up with his new bella amante. because he was compelled to spend the rest of the evening with her legs wrapped around him, he wanted to know if i would like to have his ticket to a show in taipei by this dude named goran bregovic.

sure. why not. i was bored.

A few peeps i knew where hopping on a bus to make the hour and something trip there, so i went. this is what happened to my brain during that show:

from the moment the music started i was crying. you know how there's some music or scents or places or scenes that just speak right to your soul?

like you can't think about it, you just experience it in your gut, like you're plugged into the petrol pump of life and you're filling up on something ethereal and good and nourishing...

the stage looked pretty much like this - it was so sparse i was expecting, well, not much. The auditorium was only a quarter full, the lights were bright, people sat around waiting for the show to start, chatting, laughing...

and then, from behind us, two trumpet players playing this simple melody came walking down the two aisles that flanked the main bulk of seating... one after another, they were followed by the other wind instruments, each adding to the original melody, deepening it, filling up the space with sound...

when the final big snaky bass added and they were all on the stage, this little man came bounding in and HOP HOP the show started...

no recording i've heard, no cd i have, comes within 20 kms of the live performance

i started crying and didn't stop till the end - i was, not lightly, blown away. when i came back to SA a year later i went to my first balkanology. people had caught onto the whole balkan/slavic/'gypsy' music thing - whether it was through movies, better DJs or move accessible bands like gogol bordello i don't know. but i was very pleased. the band that featured was a bit kak and the chick singer ripped ederlezi to shreds, but i was pleased.

how ederlezi should be sung

but the next year balkanology had become hip and i didn't like the hipster people that seemed to be going so i never went again. last night, on the way to look at a kitteh for momma black (i've totally appropriated that, thanks @crustyww), i heard balkan beat box and dj maoriginal on the Fresh Drive.

all i can say is:

where the fuck have i been plums? WHERE. THE. FUCK.

question mark.

under it.

cos these guys -- dj maoriginal specifically for the incredible, earTASTIC mix -- are fracking grooviness reinfrakingcarnated.

balkan beat box

now that my eyes have adjusted to the bright light that is The Now, i shall be attending balkanology again tonight, for the first time since, well, the first time.

i am EXCITE.

*actually it was the muggy, tiled, attic room of a five-floor house. i thought i'd just throw that it for a little flair. but it was a verdant mountain.

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