Ver Tanzt?
CST029      CD 180gLP MP3 FLAC

“[A]n exhilarating and painfully beautiful blend of modern and old sound… Black Ox Orkestar run the gamut from hyper tunes full of blood-pumping rhythms and grin-producing melodies to the heart-wrenching guitar playing of disaster and rememberance.”
The Brain

“[I]t's haunting, poignant and carries a whiff of history so heady you'd probably drop whatever it is you're doing to give your undivided attention to the notes coming out of your speakers.”

“In mixing a variety of influences and traditions, the band has created an album that's backward looking and forward thinking, as well as challenging and moving.”
Pop Matters

“[L]istening to "Fishelakh in Vaser", as it slowly grows more forceful and discordant was absolutely wonderful - a modern, Yiddish street bolero… All-in-all, this is an auspicious recording by an interesting ensemble.”

“Black Ox Orkestar has intentionally avoided nostalgia, breathing the life of innovation and improvization into forms thought to be long dead in the official Jewish histories... [N]othing less than awe-inspiring."
Deep Fry Bonanza

Nisht AzoyBlack Ox Orkestar   CD / 180gLP / DL
Clatter For ControlHangedup   CD / 180gLP / DL
Welcome Crummy MysticsFrankie Sparo   CD / LP / DL
Horses In The SkyThee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra   CD / 2x180gLP / DL
Against The DayLand Of Kush   CD / 2x180gLP / DL
Ringing For The Begin AgainElfin Saddle   CD / 180gLP / DL

Evenly split between instrumentals and vocal tunes, this debut album is a compelling blend of originals and new arrangements for pieces pulled from various Eastern European songbooks. The band aimed to expand the definition of Jewish diasporic music, by learning and reinterpreting songs and rhythms from all over Slavic and Balkan Europe. Lyrics are in Yiddish and speak forcefully to the bloody history and intractable contradictions of Jewish diaspora and ‘return’. With backgrounds in punk-rock, free-jazz, and other liberation musics, the all-acoustic playing on this record benefits from a genuinely spirited delivery and intensely original approaches to arrangements that never feel forced. This is modern folk music from Eastern European sources played strong, unburdened by antiseptic production and/or cheap sentimentality.

Songs range from the propulsive to the sublimely restrained. “Fishelakh in Vaser” explodes with a pumping free-music rhythm section, “Cretan Song” is a staccato Balkan dance, and “Ver Tantz?” is an angry, politically-charged klezmer-punk original. Instrumentals “Shvartze Flamen…” and “Nign”, along with the brilliant original “Toyte Goyes” (lyrics taken from a poem by Yiddish writer Itzik Fefer) are meditative and heartrending. Jessica Moss (violin, bass clarinet), Thierry Amar (contrebasse) and Scott Levine Gilmore (vocals, mandolin, cymbalom, drums) all play or played in Silver Mt. Zion, and Gabe Levine (clarinet, guitar) was chief songwriter in Sackville.

Release date: 26 April 2004
Running time: 43:06

Packaging notes
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1. Shvartze Flamen, Vayser Fayer
2. Papir Iz Dokh Vays
3. Fishelakh In Vaser
4. Cretan Song
5. Ver Tanzt?
6. Stav Ya Pitu
7. Nign
8. Toyte Goyes In Shineln
9. Kalarash
10. Forn Forstu
11. Skocne
12. Moscowitz Terkisher
13. Di Khasene

Thierry Amar: contrabass
Scott Levine Gilmore: mandolin, cymbalom, guitar, drums, violin, harmonium, voice
Gabe Levine: clarinet, guitar, bass clarinet
Jessica Moss: violin, bass clarinet

Jesse Levine: piano on TRACK 5; accordion on TRACK 9
Nadia Moss: piano on TRACK 12

Recorded and mixed at the Hotel2Tango in Montreal by Howard Bilerman, winter 2003. Mastered by Harris Newman.