Artist: Gypsy Hill
Album: Our Routes
Label: Batov Records
Released: Sept 11th
Now although I'm aware of their label mates Balkan Beat Box and despite a number of releases under their belt, I've not come across Gypsy Hill before but from the intro a fusion of loud-hailer samples, Balkan/Hip-Hop Breaks and low frequency bass caught my attention immediately. So strictly speaking it's not Dub or Chill but I feel with it's global fusion stance it's still an apt album to review on here.
Although the album has an overall Gypsy/Klezmer approach it takes a journey along various avenues 'Balaka' for example switches seamlessly between flutes, guitar and horn maintaining that Balkan sound while the horn section of 'Jimmie Jam' has more of a old New Orleans Jazz edge and 'Pachupa' transports you from the Balkans to the Mexican desert with the feel of a Spaghetti western soundtrack not unlike Calexico for those of you who remember them.
I've often felt the Balkan sound works well with Ska giving that knees up feel. But Gypsy Hill prove it can work with a variety of fusions along a variety of tempos, with the dj throwing in a scratch in suitable places and twitching low bass accompanying a few of the tracks. I have to say it works for me and I'd imagine they would be great fun to see live. Anyone in the Dalston area of London on September the 11th can catch the album launch free at the Passing Clouds.
Review by Woodzee.