"The Heat of Balkan Gypsy Soul"
Ferus Mustafov 4

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Ferus Mustafov 4 - The Heat of Balkan Gypsy SoulThe world music audience has especially sung praise to his FM4 super group, established after practically weekly changes in his line-up in 1998, with the constant participation of the no. 1 Macedonian accordion player Milan Zavkov, who has been working with Ferus since 1993 and whose musical qualities match the ones of Ferus, and the chunky, explosive drummer Dear Mendu, who could easily join any of prestigious rock groups of the late 60's. On our recording the group was joined by the bass guitar player Dragan Vucic, whose performance was definitely very compatible with the one of Dear.

After a great hot sold-out Ljubljana show in June 2000, just a couple of days before the group gave a great performance at the Roskilde festival, the sound-engineer Boban, who has been always capable to push the Ferus sound into the highest possible orbit, and me decided to record the second, additional Ferus night on a DAT recorder. As the group sounded much better than on any studio recording we decided the result should be put on a record. It has taken us quite a bit of time to prepare it and to find a proper label for it. Still do not be mad at us. Here it is, finally. Ferus Mustafov 4 - at its best, hottest, wildest, sweetest.

 

01 Zajdi zajdi/Metem Cocek Zajdi zajdi (Set set - sun)
A lyrical intro based on the popular traditional Macedonian song/Balkan blues performed by practically all the local musicians. A cocek or a chochek is the composition originally performed with a belly-dancer, generally with strong Turkish roots and the limping (agsak) syncopated Turkish rhythm. The standard meter is 4/4 or 9/8. Its central part is always taken by an improvisation of a soloist.

02 Cigancica (The gypsy girl)
A tune with lots of elements of Bulgarian wedding music, which Ferus has always been in love with (especially with the staccato technique). It is hard work to follow Ferus in a band, because he never plays tunes the same way and always brings new ideas into them. The tune gradually gets to higher and higher speed.

03 Arabska igra/Tikino sa/Bugarski cacak (Arabic dance)
A very introspective oriental composition. A crowd of belly- dancers get into Ferus's mind and he goes wild, flying in his own unique clarinet shuttle. Tikino sa, a top hit of Ferus since mid 80's, performed in various rhythmic/dance patterns (oro, sa, cocek), is another belly-dance tune with lots of space for improvisation and a bit of jazz for the spice. Cacak is a fast and simple Serbian tune. The one performed on the CD is definitely closer to the Bulgarian than to Serbian wedding scene. Faster, faster, faster!

04 Revisko oro (The "Show-piece oro")
is a typical Macedonian dance in 11/8 meter. The accordeonist Milan wrote this short piece to compete with it at a Macedonian folk festival.

05 Mak oluja (A Macedonian storm in 9/8 meter)
Milan gets wilder and wilder. Another great opportunity to show his incredible skills. 6. Oriental cocek/Romski cocek Ferus gets back on the stage with the saxophone in his hands. The belly-dance space shuttle moves into the orbit again. This is the vintage Ferus sound you will hear being immitated at a couple of 100 weddings in Macedonia, southern Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania,... every weekend.

07 Stipski cocek/Bleh cocek/Olimpijski cocek/Milanov vez/Srbsko kolo/ Kocovo oro
The cocek from Stip was many years ago composed by Ferus's father Ilmi. Bleh cocek - Brass cocek - absorbs the style of gypsy brass bands from Macedonia and southern Serbia. Balkan brass roots music. Olimpijski cocek - The Olympic cocek - is another top hit of Ferus, written to celebrate the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo in 1984. Milanov vez is a short call and response intermission. The duelling saxophonist and accordionist. Who is better? Ferus Mustafov 4 quickly jump into a fast Serbian dance - Srbsko kolo - and have lots of laugh on the way. Kocovo oro has been a regular finisher of Ferus's concerts for a long time. It is a break-neck-fast tune in 6/8 meter and was written by the legendary Macedonian accordionist Koca Petrovski. Ferus & his band speed it up to typical Ferus's speed-core. Now, who's the fastest and loudest band - in the Balkans?

08 Turski cocek (Turkish cocek)
Another sax and accordion vintage Ferus composition echoing the winds, dust, small metal stages and Dynacord P.A. wailing at the gypsy weddings on the streets of suburbs in Istambul, Sofia, Skopje,...

09 Roblek kolo (The final dessert)
The Balkan gypsy act munch a Slovene Alpine Oberkreiner polka hit. Enjoy its speciality - a schischkebab-wurst!

 

"Top of the World"
Songlines

"It's fun, it's danceable with a bit of practice, it includes a polka right at the end, and it's highly recommended"
Songlines

"Thumbs up"
fRoots

 

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