One of Eastern Europe’s most exciting musical exports, Karpov not Kasparov will perform along with Balkan Taksim at DokStation’s Multiculti Party, Thursday, September 12 at Control Club, following the screening of documentaries PJ Harvey: A Dog Called Money (Seamus Murphy, 2019) and Oulaya’s Wedding (Hisham Mayet, 2017).
The Bucharest-based duo began making music in 2009, based on the rules and strategies of chess. It might seem complicated but the output is always a very danceable tune. There are some classical allusions and plenty of oriental flavours (because chess is an Oriental game) but always there is this powerful dance-floor bass-driven sound that makes you jump and shout.
And wait! There’s more to it than just the music. Chances are you’ll see also ballet dancers on the stage or maybe some sort of theatrical performance. Sometimes the music becomes a live soundtrack for avant-garde silent films or even for chess games played by the audience.
During the past five years, the duo played their very energetic live set on club or cultural stages all over Europe, and also for festivals like Nuits Sonores, Printemps de Bourges, Electric Castle, Untold, Electronic Beats, Europalia, Eurosonic, Tallin Music Week, Ment, Revolution, Stereoleto and more. The band played in 38 out of 44 European countries + Russia and Israel.
Released in 2011, their debut LP Soundtrack for a Game of Chess has been nominated ‘album of the month’ by Vice Magazine, declared ‘one of the most valuable releases of the year’ by Radio Romania Cultural and Radio Europa Libera and aired online on New York radio WFMU. In 2015 this LP was pressed on vinyl at the boutique label PolychromeSounds (Berlin).
Balkan Taksim are a band known for raising a groovy-Balkan storm with their intoxicating blend of sharp contemporary electronic music with Balkan psych sounds & vocals.
No banging overrated techno spiced up with darbuka samples here… no standard IDM music with Balkan clichés: Balkan Taksim’s music is sincere and deep. It’s not a collage, not an appropriation, not even a “fusion”. It originates from encounters on equal terms between different Balkan cultures, traditional Balkan instruments, Carpathian ancient rhythms, timeless voices, psychedelic modes, contemporary musical technologies, futurist visions… and Romanian people.
Imagine Massive Attack playing with the Taraf de Haïdouks! Tricky enjoying a stay in the Balkans!
Balkan Taksim is the brainchild of Romanian multi-instrumentalist/ artist Sașa-Liviu Stoianovici. His exploration of traditional music of the Balkans, ancient Romanian music and Slavic cultures led him to travel a lot through the region and work with local singers and musicians to record the traditional tunes he later reworked with contemporary electronica sounds, heavy bass and powerful beats.
Made together with Bucharest artists Alin Zăbrăuțeanu (a young and very talented producer and electronica artist) and Cosmo (a virtuoso darbuka and percussionist) the music is a dark, futuristic and trance-like Balkan sound that will take over clubs and festivals around the world.