29
Mar 04

KALMAN BALOGH – “Calusul Dance”

FT + New York London Paris Munich • 250 views

(aka PopNose3): Also in the Fopp £3 only pile was the album I got this from – Songlines Presents World Music: The #1 Tracks From The #1 World Music Albums Of The Year”. It has a very nasty cover on which totally ordinary card has been colourized to give it that speckly pattern you get on recycled paper. I approached it with some nervousness, but as Isabel said “There’s bound to be something you like”. True, true – and this was what sprang out at me on first play so I decided to PopNose it. As for the rest? Some pretty great stuff (a lovely bit of rai from Khaled) and a few shockers, mostly involving the use of ‘loops’ or particularly wholemeal drum’n'bass. I’m no advocate for ‘world music’ staying tied to traditional forms but there’s something very self-conscious and dutiful about the kind of hybrids big WM labels seem to offer, especially when you consider there’s probably a ream of cheap localised dance music being sold on tapes in any market in any world city which never gets compiled or exported.

This Balogh track comes from his Gypsy Jazz album which I will try and track down. He’s playing the cimbalom, the traditional instrument of the Hungarian gypsies. He is also playing it very fast indeed which accounts for a lot of my childish glee when I hear the track. The fact that what he is playing very fast seems to be delightful silent-film chase scene music only goes to seal the deal.

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