Balkan Taksim is the corduroy-clad brainchild of Bucharest-based multi-instrumentalist artist Sasa-Liviu Stoianovici who, along with his electronica producer companion Alin Zabrauteanu, is on a quest to inform, educate and entertain audiences around the globe about Balkan psych, roots and grooves. Balkan Taksim are a band known for raising a groovy-balkan storm with their intoxicating blend of sharp contemporary electronic music with Balkan psychsounds & vocals! No banging overrated techno spiced up with darbuka samples here… no standard IDM music with Balkan cliches: Balkan Taksim’s music is sincere and deep. Their stylish electronic psychedelia and bass flow directly from their roots in Romania and the Balkans upstream to global dancefloors. A project that's constantly evolving, exploring rhythms and sounds from every corner of the Balkans gently fused with electronic beats and tribal basslines.
1. Meram Ekspresi
The journey begins with one of the cult trains that unite the West and the East of Turkey. Crossing the Anatolian plateau, Meram Ekspresi is the train where one can meet all sorts of people from the region and listen to their stories.
Balkan Taksim’s composition, based on an old song from Southern Romania, Zalina is about a strong-minded, beautiful girl and a man who is desperately in love with her. His efforts to win her love appear to be in vain, as told by the increasingly surreal verses and reversed sounds.
A Middle East classic wedding tune, ”filtered” in the Balkan Taksim studio. Distortion effects and heavy rhythms, as heard in today’s pop-culture.
4. Žali Zare
Another Balkan Taksim take on a popular song, this time from Southern Serbia.
A young man prepares to leave his loved one behind, in order to get into the armed resistance. His words are an invitation to mourn his departure, as he goes far away, to fight. The tone is rather sad, Death is waiting around the corner.
With some musical quotes from a traditional Southern Romanian song, Lunca is again about love. But the lovers have already left the wild place where they consumed their lust, so the narrator-singer can only rhetorically ask what happened there, by the riverside.
6. A Mirelui
Old lyrics from the countryside, that were sung by the groom at his wedding. With theremin and cobza played in a slide manner, the tune marks the beginning of adulthood in a young man’s life.
A piece of Aromanian poetry, dark and sad. A young dead man talks to the ravens that circle him, asking them to leave a piece of his body, so his Mother and Father could identify him.
8. Ankara Ekspresi
Beginning in a dreamy mood, the song changes into a rhythmical tune, while being led by the elektro-saz. Ankara Ekspresi was one of the most important trains from Turkey as it used to run from Istanbul to Ankara.
With a touch of Yugoslav pop-rock, Anadolka is, again, Balkan Taksim’s take on a Balkan classic. After an introduction played on the Ottoman tanbur, the young man from the story asks a beautiful Anatolian girl to fall into his arms. He offers to sing songs to her, to give her sweets. Overall, a romantic musical approach towards an old Bosnian text.
10. Cartes Postales
Deep and rough bass lines, mixed with the very much-loved Ottoman tanbur, build the foundation for a rather dark, edgy poetry: blood, postcards from the Balkans, dead queens, forbidden black songs – these are some of the ingredients.
11. Foaie Verde
Played on a hundred year old Romanian countryside-made cobza, the song is almost a prayer addressed to the Mighty Forest. A love story between a young man and his younger girlfriend, who needs some shelter under the trees.
12. U?ak Ekspresi
Distorted elektro-saz again meets heavy bass and ethnic drum samples. The U?ak train has left the station, loaded with passengers and songs.
13. Balkan Teleskop
Far away, on a mountaintop, lies the greatest telescope of all time. Its name is Balkan Teleskop and through it we can imagine that we could see The Whole World.