(I’m a little behind posting this since it came out last Friday, but I’ve been waiting for the exclusive download you can grab at the bottom…)
Shazalakazoo are engaged on an all out Balkan assualt – after dropping the incredible BANG! BANG! EP on your favourite label last Monday, they returned on Friday with a full length album, released by Eastblok.
Between 12 and 16 Balkan bangers are served up here – depending on the format you go for – in Shazalakazoo’s inimitable style, with plenty of brass but also rhaita / zurna style sounds and crazy gypsy synth lines which are much closer to the authentic Balkan Gypsy sound right now. Slow and sexy dembowesque beats abound, often filled in with snatches of d&b breaks – not enough to turn these into insane balkancore but just enough to give each individual drum hit a massive nervous energy.
As with the Bang Bang EP, influences other than Balkan music are on show here: a baile funk feel is lent to three tracks featuring MC Gi, and these end up being some of the most forward-looking tunes on the album, particularly the elctro-funky-balkan-baile of Sai Fora (excitingly the boys have been working with Zuzuka Poderosa – amongst others – on more Baile/Balkan stuff). Elsewhere Sunny Side Of The Street is an extremely well executed electro swing tune in the Parov template (although a fairly strong argument can be made that the world doesn’t need any more electro swing). As you’d expect, one of the other main ingredients here is moombahton, with Bang! included from the EP – fast becoming my moombah tune of the year – as well as the more bleepy Istraton, one of the more purely electronic tunes on the LP.
Shazalakazoo’s well known sense of humour comes through on Miss Platnum-esque Baklava Lover with it’s hilarious vocals from Killo Killo – tongues firmly in cheeks with this one (‘Those crispy nuts make my nuts go nuts!‘), without the tune ending up being just a novelty – as a DJ you could definitely play this one out, whereas Shantel is still probably the only person who could get away with dropping Disco Boy.
Comparisons with Shantel are kind of inevitable – he’s one of their only peers at this level of Balkan club music – and Shazalakazoo come out very favourably, with maybe a less shiny sound but also a much less sickly one. They’ve still got massive crossover potential, as tunes like Baklava Lover, Plus 49 with its Neptunes-like chorus (courtesy of Wikluh Sky), and the epic Kalafornication – just crying out for a huge outdoor stage – prove.
Check out the LP:
And finally, grab an exclusive Process Rebel remix: