Kal are the hottest Gypsy band from the suburbs of Belgrade, rock’n’roll
in attitude, fueled on urban beats and rooted in the Balkan blues.
In their wit, imagination and ability to throw disparate sounds
together they mark themselves as both part of Balkan Gypsy tradition
and 21 st century lifestyle.
Kal – the word in Romani for “black” – were formed by the Ristic
brothers, Dusan and Dragan, to confront the prejudices and cliches
the Roma face. Dragan, a theatre producer who has set up Romani
theatre groups in Budapest and Belgrade, and Dusan, a painter, aimed
to use Kal to blend influences from traditional Balkan Gypsy Music
with the contemporary music thay heard whilst living in Belgrade
For their firsat international album, Dragan reshaped the band’s
line-up and pushed the envelope of what a 21 st century Roma roots
band can achieve. Recorded on a bare bones budget at Dragan’s ramshackle
home studio this brilliant, intuitive album shifts Gypsy soul into
cyberspace. To help achieve this mix, Kal employed Mike Nielsen
to mix, arrange, find beats and produce the album. Nielsen’s experience
involves everything from mixing Dizzy Gillespie’s live sound through
working with Maori and Turkish musicians to producing Underworld,
Jamiroquai and Natasha Atlas.
Ristic’s vision of how Kal embrace 21 st century Roma music is
a generous one: bhangra rhythms underpin one song, a violin dances
around a two-step rhythm played on double bass, weeping Hawaiian
steel guitar drifts over a lovely waltz tempo, an accordion feeds
tango flavours, Montenegran rock satirist Rambo Amadeus delivers
an acerbic, hiccuping rap whilst the striking voices of Zumrita
Jakupovic, Dragana Berakovic and Adil Maksutovic lend earthy, sensual
qualities to the songs.
Author “Princess Amongst Men”, Journey With Gypsy Musician.
Immediately after releasing, Kal album reached the second place
at World Music Charts Europe. Kal will be performing over 30 concerts
throughout Europe this spring.