Range against the machine
X Factor excess or a Facebook fuelled silent night are, thankfully, not the only choices for Christmas listening. Despite the best efforts of the social media, range still rules over the music machine and over the next ten days I will be featuring some left field party sounds that have caught my ear during the past months. If gypsy meets jazz meets Yiddish hits your hot buttons my first party disc should be one for you. Tiganeasca comes from long established French ensemble Les Yeux Noirs who take their name, which translates as "Dark Eyes", from the gypsy tune made famous by Django Reinhardt. The line-up for Les Yeux Noirs is brothers Eric and Olivier Slabiak out front on violin and vocals backed by swing guitar, Romanian gypsy cymbalom, drums, bass guitar, clarinet and Serbian and jazz accordion, and there is even a bonus remix from Tunisian mix master Jean-Pierre Smadja. Traditional Judeo-gypsy manouche flavoured with sampling and dance results in some serious fun music and a bonus is the serious fun sound captured by independent label Zig-Zag Territoires, who sensibly opt for the warm acoustic of l'Eglise de Bon Secours in Paris rather than the usual dry studio. But don't take my word, here are Les Yeux Noirs with some samples from Tiganeasca.
For a Jewish Ladino discovery for Christmas take this path.
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