The Electrocarpathians formed in 1988 to further the fusion of East European styles such as Klezmer, Polka, and Czardas with classic Rock and Latin music. They appeared regularly at San Diego's Better Worlde Galeria until that venue closed in 1995. Their first album, 'Umpires of Straw', released in 2001 by Global Village Music (New York), was subtitled 'Slavic Music Collected in the Midwest performed by California Surfer Gypsy Punk Rockers'. Their second release, 'Fighting for Harmony' (2005), also on Global Village, was fueled by a continuing search for Byzantine roots in dance music originating in South California and Tijuana.
It is a well-known fact that Dick Dale, the great progenitor of Surf Rock, drew on Middle Eastern sources for many of his compositions. It is lesser known that, decades earlier, other musicians from California's Lebanese, Armenian, Ukrainian, and Sephardic communities likewise contributed to the evolution of what can be considered a 'West Coast' dance band style. While most bands working California venues in the 20's and 30's were never recorded, examinations of their libraries (parts/partitura) sometimes reveal that besides the principal elements of popular music from the United States and Mexico, there are pieces which reflect the influence of the state's 'Byzantine' ethnic groups. The album cover of 'Cafe Bego', designed by Eric Townsend, is based on a photo of The Charles Davis Band, performing at the Mission Inn in Riverside, California, about 1926.