Taraf De Haïdouks - ELECTRIC GYPSYLAND (2003)

It's no surprise that remixers would get around to gypsy music--it's a tradition filled with great melodies and dancing rhythms that are ripe for harvest. Featuring source material from the great Taraf de Haïdouks, Koçani Orkestar and Mahala Rai Banda, Electric Gypsyland was originally put together by the folks at the well-regarded Crammed Disc label, which is home to an impressive array of modern electronic and world-music artists. The 15 production teams here come from all points on the globe; but, with the exception of Arto Lindsay and Melvin Gibb's dark experimental take on Haïdouk's "Murgur Mugurel", much of it has a driving rhythmic appeal that will draw people (gypsy-music fan or not) on to the dance floor. The production skills are impressive as well, reimagining these folk songs into vibrant kaleidoscopes of sound. Definitely not an album for gypsy-music purists, this is a fine new 21st-century vision of the genre we thought we knew.

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