Balkansambel

A popular Slovak band established in 2010.

The multi-genre experience of its members qualifies them to combine seemingly incompatible musical styles.

The band draws its inspiration from traditional Balkan music but also from Slovak folklore, classical music and world music. Songs of the multi-instrumentalist Marek Pastírik are spiced with improvisations of different musicians. The mixture of all this makes their live performance an adrenaline experience enriched by a rhythmic storm and spontaneous energy.

ŠLAMASTIKA, the band’s second album was published in 2016 and it proves that even a brass band can be unexpectedly fresh. Imagine the music of Bach with Greek Levendiko rhythms or Bizet’s Carmen as a Bulgarian wedding dance and you get an idea of the band’s music. Its unique approach caught the attention of the World Music Chart Europe (WMCE) jury, which ranked the album as the 15th best in January 2017. “From the very first note, Šlamastika is an explosion of creativity and contagious joy. The ease with which Balkansambel bridges traditional folk music and contemporary jazz is remarkable.

The final shape is so sleek and compact, that even the Gillespie song A Night In Tunisia becomes part of their music as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Naturalness is the key word! Despite its overall deep refinement, the song does not feel ponderous but rather the opposite. The playing of individual musicians is so precise and yet full of energy that listening to it is a sheer pleasure. And when you add the enchanting voices of the guest female singers, you get a perfect album, ‘souped up’ with musical ideas and humour,” wrote Johann Kneihs, music editor of the Austrian ORF Ö1 Radio, WMCE.