Balkan Beat Box are back with their most musically intense and lyrically explosive album yet. 'Give' expands their trademark Mediterranean-inflected sound incorporating the energy and roughness of those current strains of African, Asian and South American electronic club music influenced by globalized forms of ragga, hip hop and dancefloor electronica.
The three core members of BBB have taken a different approach on 'Give'. Locked up in a studio, with an array of old analogue synths, they came up with this collection of slamming tracks which take their music to new territories. The band's songwriting has spectacularly evolved, with a number of more rock-oriented song structures and socio/political lyrical content.
Brimming over with handcrafted beats and samples, 'Give' yields up BBB's most textured sonic palette of their career with a more harder-edged, electronic sound. The songs and their subjects are also darker and more political.
Balkan Beat Box first burst out of New York City's underground music scene in 2005, with a self-titled debut album. Founded by Israeli-born expats Ori Kaplan (ex-Gogol Bordello) and Tamir Muskat (ex-Firewater), the band built their reputation on explosive live shows, becoming an audience favourite and a critic's darling. BBB soon added frequent collaborator Tomer Yosef as frontman, whose wild onstage energy has galvanized live audiences ever since.
(5 stars) Imbibing influences from Curtis Mayfield to Bob Marley, 50s guitar licks, punk bass lines, Eastern European rhythms, reggaeton and dubstep - you name it - BBB leap out highly inebriated, defying both the inner dancer to stay still, and the armchair cynic to define them. --R2, March/April 2012
(4 stars) It's hard to resist...Balkan and hip-hop flavoured club music that captures the mood of the world today perfectly. --Songlines, (Alexandra Petropoulos), April/May 2012