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Devla by Boban Markovic Orkestar
Released: Oct 2009
Label: Piranha
What starts out seeming like a rather slick interpretation of Gypsy music -- driven by Boban's forward-looking son Marko -- ends up as startling and vibrant as you'd want it to be. Marko's enamored of hip-hop, and you hear it, deeply bastardized, insinuating itself into several songs. (The flamenco nod, "Benim Gecem," is predictably terrible.) But tradition holds the truest fire: Bulgaria's Sofi Marinova extends her voice like a leafless branch over "Soske Sul Na Avea," and on a song like "Hopa Cupa," the horns move so quickly it feels inhuman. Is this music? Is it birdsong? No matter. It's wonderful.
Sarah Bardeen

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