BALKAN BEAT BOX (US)
Balkan Beat Box are the misleadingly titled duo of Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat, two Israeli born musicians currently based in Brooklyn. Both Ori and Tamir grew up appreciating an eclectic blend of musics in Israel – Kaplan learnt classical and klezmer clarinet at an early age and listened to Egyptian pop, Russian and Moroccan music on the radio. As an adolescent he became fascinated with jazz, rock and industrial music. Muskat also grew up in a musical family and became a drummer in punk rock bands. Both would shift to the US as their musical ambitions lay beyond Israel’s relatively provincial pop-trance-rap scene.
The duo met in New York playing in bands that made up part of that city’s underground rock scene (Kaplan was a member of fellow Radio 3 nominees Gogol Bordello for a few years) and found they shared a progressive approach to making music. BBB compare their musical aesthetic to assembling a gigantic jigsaw puzzle – when a piece could not be found to fit they created their own – so resulting in their self-titled 2005 debut album. The album blends recordings of ethnic musicians with studio wizardry so creating a mix of exotic chill-out and dance tracks.
"I describe it as 'Mediterranean dancehall,'" Kaplan told a US interviewer. "Some people describe it as Balkan-inspired electronic urban folk, with hip-hop beats. It really took the sum of who we are, and our experiences. It can take a month to grow, or just one day."
In concert the duo are joined by a core of 6-10 musicians as well as employing computer programmes and inviting local rappers and dancers to join them on stage.
"If we discover a special local artist ... in Sweden, we had an Iranian rapper. In France, we had a Moroccan Gnawa musician,” says Kaplan. This helps push the BBB philosophy of a music and planet without borders where all share and live in peace.
Balkan Beat Box website
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eli atash israel tlv
Steve, Nice, France
marcelle smyth south london
chiko from israel
Leon, Tel Aviv Israel
ken hopson . richmond va
Dana Muskat from Israel
Stash S. , N.Y
Claudia Frenzel/ Berlin/ Germany
Mike, South Carolina
Maya, New York
Matt, nyc USA
Debbie, New York
Magali, Toulouse (France)
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