Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Balkan Beat Box: Balkan Beat Box [JDub, 2005]
Former Gogol Bordello horn man Ori Kaplan moves in with Big Lazy's Tamir Muskat, the Israeli-born drummer who faced down Gypsy punk Eugene Hutz in J.U.F. last year. Everything else is friends and programming, with a party feel more relaxed than expected despite the fact that their CVs assuredly include weddings. The drumbeats remain edgily electronic. But the bass lines propelling the dance, and the horns and vocals flavoring it, are sweeter than in Gogol Bordello or Big Lazy--with a discernible sensuality putting flesh on the fun. Ethnically, and politically, the idea is that Morocco and Bulgaria are one place--a lie longing to become a dream. A-