Stand Up, People presents the diverse and almost forgotten sounds of 60s and 70s Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo, with nineteen tracks that highlight the flowering of Roma Gypsy culture in that period. The songs have resurfaced thanks to the vinyl-hunting efforts of London's Vlax Records, who have rescued the original 45rpms from provincial fleamarkets across the Balkans, or dug them out of the darkest corners of the vaults of the National Library in Belgrade. All the tracks were then painstakingly restored to their former analogue glory at Carvery Cuts Studio, London.
It's a familiar story: two crazy Brits locate the lost musical legacy of a distant country except here it's not Ghana or Thailand but former Yugoslavia that provided the quest for forgotten vinyl. The results capture the diversity of Roma music in Tito's socialist state between 1964 and 1980. Big fat wedding songs are here, along with serpentine clarinets and Balkan brass, alongside less expected influences such as Bollywood choruses and jazzy instrumentals. At the heart of things are soaring, melodramatic vocals by stars like Esma Redzepova and Saban Bajramovic, and Roma history a 1974 paean to "the beauty of Sarajevo" makes poignant listening. FOUR STARS --The Observer
One of the most daring and poignant collections of music to come our way in recent times, Stand Up, People brings together the forgotten love songs, ceremonial hymns and raucous pop dances of the Roma gypsies, whose abiding persecution has shrouded a musical legacy rich in the traditions of migrant Europe. --The Vinyl Factory
'there are many compelling performances and, of course, great musicianship, --The Irish Times