Radio Romanista - KAL

Asphalt Tango

Red Bull may give you wings but it's nothing close to the buzzy jolt Roma music packs. Certainly, there is an entrancing quality to it, but not in the sense of the ecstatic as in Sufi or Gnawa rhythms or the tripped out, down-tempo of Dub. Roma music is caffeinated to keep you up all night. And, while your audience is alert, why not give them something to think about? So reasons Dragan Ristic, the bald band leader of KAL, a Serbian seven-piece who wire up that frenetic folk energy and plug it into the punk esthetic. Three years after the acclaim of their debut , the band is back with Radio Romanista an album that even better captures the ever-elusive live intensity musicians constantly seek in their recordings. It also furthers Dragan's cause as an activist and articulate apologist for the Romani people, who continue to be marginalized and persecuted; adapting to other cultures while never securing a home for their own. As Dragan explains in the album's illuminating liner notes, "Imagine that we have our own country (Romanistan) and in that country a national radio station, Radio Romanista. Imagine ...". Now that would be radio worth listening to.