Opa Hey! - Kottarashky

Asphalt Tango

Music is such a personal expression that it can reflect many different aspects of an artist’s life. Kottarashky is a product of the digital recording age; a master mixer of disparate sonic flotsam and jetsam. But most every musician these days needs a straight gig and this young Bulgarian is an architect when he’s not making music. Those two worlds are not a far removed as you might at first think. On his new album, Opa Hey! from Asphalt Tango Records, Kottarashky shines his designing talents on dusty old recordings from a mostly forgotten but golden age of Balkan music. Along with a contemporary paint box of house, jungle and trance beats, these become the building materials this sonic architect uses to design, frame and erect his sound sculptures. The former traditional elements also sharply define the geography of his compositions. As mixed and matched as those elements may be the listener has no difficulty identifying the Gypsy voices and Balkan brass for instance. But, Kottarashky takes things further still, keeping us slightly off balance with echoes of jazz or traditional instruments from far off lands deftly woven into the multi-layered fabric of the tracks. While similar experiments have been done before (check out Alegranza by Spanish tropicalista El Guincho), Kottarashky shows maturity in his restrained treatment of the necessary looping, which can become monotonous left to lesser hands. Mostly, Opa Hey! seems a playful glimpse into the creative mind of 21st century artist who is coming to terms with his deeply rooted DNA.