The Slept-on Beauty of the Balkans

Her roommates get all the attention:  Serbia is known for its brass bands, Turkey, for its psych guitar-rockers, Romania, its gypsy folk music.. But Bulgaria (yes, she’s a lady– her middle name is Sofia) plays all of these styles with dignified grace.

Bulgarian history is amongst the richest in all of Europe

Bulgarian history is amongst the richest and most ancient in all of Europe

Oddly enough, the only internationally-known group from Bulgaria is a women’s choir (daringly named the Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir) whose album The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices was discovered by indie UK record label 4AD in 1986 (11 years after its original release) and unleashed into the global ear.  More albums and heroine addictions followed.  An unlikely story, but once you hear the sublime juxtaposition of angelic voices and dissonant harmonies, you’ll understand why Bulgarians are considered some of the best vocal-chordists of the human band:

Our sampling of Bulgarian sounds also features some blazing punk, classic rock ‘n roll, old school hip hop, new wave rumba, and the world’s most frenetic wedding band… they’ll have you puking on the dance floor in no time.

The Ivo Papasov Wedding Band. DO NOT touch his clarinet.

The Ivo Papasov Wedding Band. DO NOT touch his clarinet.

HEAR PART 1- THE GLOBAL MIX HERE

HEAR PART 2- THE BULGARIAN MIX HERE

Ajlávmjuzik Slovensko

A universe in itself:  The modern muzik of Slovakia.  Quality 1960s bigbeat swonk, sophisticated artrock, ancient hip hop, 80s synth pop, and fujara flutescapes…  Enjoy the rhythmic odyssey to the Tetra peaks of Eastern Europe.

The Rap Steady Crew from Bratislava, with classic ’93 old-school swagger:

Oh, and for the trivialists out there, the Dobro guitar was invented and manufactured by the Slovakian Dopyera brothers (the Do-Bros!) in 1928.  On behalf of the Country/Jazz/Bluegrass communities, thanks gents!