IN THE CHARTS
August 2023 #39 - Top 40 for Balkan Influence Mec Yek - Julia Julia - live @ Balkan Trafik 2015 - with Kesaj Tshave (video)
April 2023 #4 - Top 40 for Balkan Influence Mec Yek - Julia Julia - live @ Balkan Trafik 2015 - with Kesaj Tshave (video)
April 2023 #34 - Top 40 for Balkan Influence Mec Yek - Loli Paraditshka - live @ Balkan trafik 2015 (video)
About: Mec Yek @Moods Brugge, 25/7/15
Sometime midway through the 1990s, Piet Maris (frontman with the acclaimed Euro roots outfit Jaune Toujours) began to make contact with gypsy musicians and, through their guidance and contacts, to travel regularly to a Roma community in Slovakia. Through the latter, the ever curious musician learned their gypsy style of playing. Afterwards, this repertoire was thoroughly reintepreted by the musicians of Jaune Toujours, who, in their usual fashion, began pushing the music beyond the boundaries of tradition by adding their own musical flavours to the sound. At first, the more traditionally-minded gyspies in the band’s audience frowned in astonishment at these changes but the sound began to catch on with the younger Roma. The latter’s stamp of approval was, ultimately, given authority when two young Roma singers - Katia and Milka Pohlodkova - joined the band on stage and never left… The gypsy incarnation that has developed from Jaune Toujours is called Mec Yek and Antikrisis is the group’s début recording. As you’d expect from the band’s origins, it contains musical surprises: from pure a capella, over minimalist instrumentation, to elaborate horn sections. The guest musicians add ethnic sounds on cymbalom (Kostel Ursuletz) and fujara (played here by English folk instrumental legend Andrew Cronshaw, no stranger to fusing the traditional with the experimental) and if you listen closely, you can even hear a ukelele (Mathieu Verkaeren) playing in the mix. It’s a new and moving sound, full of balkan beats and gypsy passion… So beautiful it hurts!
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