COMPOSERS: Taraf de Haïdouks
PERFORMER: Taraf de Haïdouks
CATALOGUE NO: CRAW 21
No less energy radiates from the much-hyped Taraf de Haïdouks, a group from Romania catapulted into the worldwide spotlight by their Belgian producers. The silly introductory track with running motors and barking dogs soon gives way to everybody’s favourite ‘gypsy’ band, complete with swaying rhythms, swirling cimbaloms, and the febrile violin virtuosity that Enescu smoothed up for classical concert purposes, totally infectious as usual.
This time there’s a powerful guest woman singer and a couple of tracks of huge gusto and momentum by one Napoleon, accompanied by a collection of household and body percussion instead of the Taraf. He and his colleagues come from a lowly caste; it was the producers who brought them in.
A tide of communal musical feeling sweeps together all these performers and their ‘home’ supporters. You can catch something similar at a packed-out qawwali event. The urgent, competitive vocals, the intense religious-cum-secular emotion (impossible to disentangle), the thrilling build-ups combine to make ecstatics of everybody.