Artist: Gypsy Hill
Label: Batov Records
Released: 9th November 2018
A collaboration between DJ Kobayashi and Herbert Newbert, in Gypsy Hill they bring together the balls and the brass from the Balkans, surf-rock Mediterranean guitar lines, Arabic & Jewish melodies, massive bass-lines and a whole heap of electronics, scratching and beats. Having previously worked on re-mixes they decided to invite artists to the studio to collaborate for this album.
The release commences alongside Kobi Israelite on ‘Special Brew’ which drifts between the aforementioned surf-rock Mediterranean guitar lines, Balkan brass and the snake charmer of the Arabian bazaar. It’s exactly what you’d expect and it’s a catchy ditty that works equally well foot tapping or hand clapping. Next on the agenda they team up with Simo Lagnawi on ‘Gzeyel Meyel’ subtly blending along with his style of Gnawa (Moroccan Folk).
Composer, saxophonist and ethnomusicologist Alejandro Toldoe joins the throng on ‘Can’t Pay The Rent’ where horns and guitars carry you along over the tribal percussion. The next track is advertised as only featuring Gypsy Hill on Hallouminati’s ‘Late Junkies’. Hailing from Nottingham and fusing Punk with Balkan Beats and Greek music, this seems almost natural to merge alongside Gypsy Hill, with some added Bouzaki and a touch of plate smashing wouldn’t go amiss.
The next collaboration is alongside the Swingrowers on ‘Sugar’, as you might expect this is a swing but there’s a little extra oomph on percussion and electronics but not as full on as electro-Swing. Moving on they are joined by international collective the Turbans on ‘Funtashlikh’, mashing together eastern European and Middle Eastern sounds this pacy number rolls along nicely and is made to drag you to the dancefloor.
Koby Israelite returns on ‘Rural Ghost’ with more guitar fused Middle Eastern vibes before the final piece ‘Six Steps’ by D.I.N. (Drowned in Noise) feat. Gypsy Hill which sounds like a fusion of bluegrass and horn with a suitably drawn out vocal.
To summarise I like Gypsy Hill’s productions and highly recommend a live show, where they really come into their own. This album doesn’t steer too far from their previous work and also works well as introduction to some if not all of the collaborators.
Review by Woodzee