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If a prog rock power trio had ever sprung up in the mountains of Albania, it would have sounded like Brooklyn's Choban Elektrik ("Electric Shepards"). They use the vintage grit and funk of the Hammond organ and Fender Rhodes, along with drumset and electric bass to open up new facets of Albanian, Macedonian, Greek and Armenian traditional songs. The band adds this classic American soulful sound to the music of the Balkans in a far reaching open jazz rock approach that combines influences from across the spectrum of world music.
The results burst with crackling distorted guitar lines ripping through odd Albanian meters ("Beratche from Prespa"), traditional Greek dance tunes gone deeply funky ("Koftos"), and mysteriously dreamy space-outs for Caucasus wedding parties (the wonderfully titled "Mom Bar"). Slow-burning melodies unwind as whammy bars and Leslie speakers take old songs in a radically new and powerful direction.