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Shantel

Biography

The Frankfurt-born Stefan Hantel -- aka Shantel -- bears much responsibility for the current boom in Balkan and Gypsy music. Shantel started out as a downtempo producer and DJ who started his own club in Frankfurt in the mid-1990s after a stint studying in Paris. And thus he would have remained, but for a fateful trip back to visit his grandparents' hometown, Czernowitz, in 2001. Czernowitz is situated in Bucovina, a region split between Romania and Ukraine; Shantel found himself profoundly affected by the region's music and culture. On his return to Germany he founded the Bucovina Club Orkestar, a group dedicated to exploring and playing with Eastern European music, and he began to helm a club night by the same name that featured Balkan and Gypsy beats. It proved a huge success, and after his work was featured in film soundtracks and commercials, Shantel took the next step in 2007 and released his first solo disc, the intoxicating, collaborator-heavy Disco Partizani. A raucous blend of electronica, rock, Gypsy music and countless other influences, the album was an underground hit that reflected a thirst for fresh sounds -- particularly of the Balkan variety.
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