Devla / Blown Away To Dancefloor Heaven
Piranha CD-PIR 2339
Full Price (46 mins)
Boban Markovic, one of European music’s top trumpet players, has been playing explosive Balkan gypsy tunes for longer than almost anyone can remember, certainly long before the whole ‘gypsy remix phenomenon blew up. With young son Marko now leading the band alongside him, Boban has been chasing that hipper club-produced sound in recent albums, so it is a pleasure to note this return to form. True, it is not yet a pure return to his early days – his exquisitely soft rendition of Izvorski Biseri on Network’s excellent Golden Brass Summit compilation is the undoubted highlight - but with the exception of the clumsily produced dance-rap tune Sljivovica, Boban and the band are playing with fire in their bellies again. Rromano Biav is a perfect example of the all-horns-blasting, wickedly sinuous, Turkish-inflected cocek groove that has made the Gypsy brass sound such an anthemic dance music in recent years – an ultra-tight, delicious groove that grabs you and just won’t let go. Elsewhere, some top-notch guest vocalists are welcome additions to the party: the Rom pop sound of Soske Sul Na Avea featuring Bulgarian singer Sofi Marinova is one of the best cuts here, with a blistering trumpet solo just in case you forget who’s really in charge. The production is generally solid and young Marko feels more integrated into the band sound than before: he gives the band an added drive and energy, without being allowed to take over the show. Welcome back to one of the best bands in the business.