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There's World Music. And then there's Bratsch.
Saturday, 23.02.2013, 20:20
oh what a night...
Bratsch (FR)
«Mais oui, bien sur», we thought we knew them. Ha! «Sacre bleu!» we said once again and for the umpteenth time, we were left with scratching the musical part of our brain in disbelief when they last visited notre isle de la musique.
Change and evolution, in any form and at any age has always been at the core of this great band of these merry francophone hipsters and probably will be their own unique tradition, forever. And as a band and years of togetherness on the road, crisscrossing the Old World to countless cities and towns, it's at the core of their art and  made them tighter than the hairs on a fiddle bow.
There's World Music. And then there's Bratsch.
Bratsch - we love the sound of the name. In fact, it's an indication of things to come - they're brash like only total surety allows, fiery hot like the winds of the Mistral and as finely aged as the rarest Armagnac. Some songs are blasted at a rousing, even decibel stretching levels but performed with well-tempered and masterful virtuosity. Others let you dream, they create yet unexperienced moods and give fresh glimpses into a better future in a better world - with a gallic wink to all of that. Their untamed joy of just playing is pure and infectious, they're great improvisors and new stuff always finds creative expression and a home with them.
All during their 37 years of existence there's been a tremendous integrity to their work: No CD gets laid down without the material having been in the iron fire of playing it on the road for no less than a year. Their big success «Plein du Monde» featured artist friends like  Khaled, Lhasa, Olivia Ruiz and Charles Aznavour and their contributions to the Bratsch universe. In the footsteps of Jake and Elwood perhaps, they've been called «The Balkan Blues Brothers», maybe referring to the influences of those wild and crazy guys but definitely the sounds of the Balkans and Gipsy, Jiddish and Klezmer music, Musette, Rembetiko, Fado, Tango, Blues, French chansons and Jazz improvs which can all be heard on their «Urban Bratsch» CD.
And The BBB's musical alchemists are: Dan Gharibian (guitar), Bruno Girard (violin, viola), Theo Girard (contra bass), Nuno Peylet (clarinet), Francois Castiello (accordeon).Constant travelers, they derive much of their music from impressions like vista, sounds, images, local customs and even smells from the
numerous places they've visited. Here's Bratsch about «Urban Bratsch:»
«Cities have faces and names - the black city, the city of the seven hills, the city of the thousand bells, they introduce us to their own music, language and indigenous codes. These are places that allow us to dream - say, Odessa, Thessaloniki, Paris, Budapest, Berlin, Lisbon, Barcelona and many others. We drive through these cities, we breathe, we feel open and free and return with new melodies of songs in all their languages. We write our own music - especially about the suburbs of those places because that's where their real life is happening
and sometimes it's just imaginary suburbs, either way, it's where their real pulse is and it's to where we dedicate our new songs - to the docks, the rivers that carry away unfulfilled dreams, the narrow streets where perhaps the next Django could be found playing.»
You get the idea: It's all about the freedom to express yourself, the freedom to trust tradition and to explore the new and the freedom to believe in a better world. And your openness to once again be astounded by Bratsch and enjoy and celebrate these forever young boys in grownup clothes.


«Bratsch are the best band around that combines Jazz, Klezmer, Southeasteuropean and Roma music.» -Concerto

«Melancholic ballads, heartbreaking love songs and then an abrupt eruption of 'joie de vivre» -SZ
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