Making electronic music since 1998; performing it live since 2000.
The richness and diversity of cultural heritage in the Balkans are indisputable. The peninsula has been crisscrossed with ancient and modern trade and military routes, allowing for the possibility of cultural exchange between East and West, North and South alike. The region is teeming with influences of various origin intertwined with strong autochthonous traditions going back to immemorial time.
The music of the Balkans is eclectic. Ancient and distinctive melodies were originally played with native instruments, such as primitive woodwinds, reed and clay instruments or percussion. In early medieval times, string instruments, such as lutes and stringed gusle came from Persia through Arab, Turkic and Byzantine worlds. Old musical scales remained almost intact, only the sound altered. With industrial age in the nineteenth century, European instruments - fiddle, clarinet and accordion - came to the Balkans from the northwest. The twentieth century continued this innovative trend with saxophone, which was followed by synthesizers and various kinds of electronic instruments in its second half. Finally, we have computer-programmed folk music, which often uses the very same ancient melodic scales once played in the murky depths of history.
Our Folkstep is fully computerised music, with the prevailing electronic rhythm and bass line patterns. This basic rhythm structure is overlaid with either folk samples or folklore-inspired themes played using MIDI controllers and/or vinyl scratching. These rhythms, harmonies and melodies are a unique blend. Their origins lie in various Slavic, Gypsy, Vlach, Greek, Romanian and Albanian streaks, or in cultures having substantial influence in the region - Persian, in the Arab world, Turkophone and Francophone worlds, German and Italian-speaking cultures, and finally in Anglo-American global culture which, among other things, brings echoes of cultures distant to the Balkans.
The intention of the Folkstep is simple: it is not meant to be art; it is simple entertainment like the music of its countless predecessors - an important pastime, faithfully accompanying the inhabitants of the Balkan peninsula throughout its turbulent history, in good or bad times alike. This music only kept changing its outer shell, embracing the ongoing evolution of popular instruments, harmonic and rhythmical influences of any current era. Its essence, however, remained the same: less talking, more dancing, and tomorrow is a new day. Some other influence, some other form to embrace. So let's dance!
Shazalakazoo tracks were released at various compilations: Watcha Clan - Diaspora Remixed (Piranha Records, Germany), Belgrade Coffeeshop (B92, Serbia), Mute Magazine (Fallout Records, UK), Bombardiranje New Yorka (Listen Loudest Records, Croatia) and Media Mediterranea (Metamedia, Croatia).