Unabashedly Gypsy, unabashedly modern, Radoslav “Gipsy” Banga raises his hands and eyes on the cover of his new album. Shocked at his musical success? Praying for his culture’s survival? Or perhaps (note the bed-head) awakened suddenly to the duty to continue spreading a socially conscious message along with his infectious, feel-good Roma fusion?
Whatever it “reprezents,” the cover opens to reveal an album that I’m told is full of social content but appeals to this non-Roma as a damn fine party album and a fantastic fusion of traditional and modern sounds. From ballads like “Vecernice” to scratch-laced rap tunes like “Dobry Den” to full-tilt dance numbers like the opening “Benga Beating,” Gipsy.cz’s varied compositions are unceasingly engaging, and flat-out fun, with a rare, energizing in-your-face cultural pride (the kind also seen in the Maori-fusion of Moana and the Moahunters). Highly recommended!
S. A. Stevens