Radio Romanista

Asphalt Tango

Jan 28, 2009 at 6:00 am
Radio Romanista

Gypsy dance-masters Kal continue their steady rise from the clubs of their homeland Belgrade, scrambling notions and rerouting their roots in a genre far from myopic.

Opener “Krasnokalipsa” finds outspoken bandleader Dragan Ristic collaborating with Serbian rap kingpin Marcello to volcanic results.

From there, Kal’s arsenal — rapid and relentless one moment, undulating and seductive the next — grows more robust as Ristic sings in Romanian, French, Spanish and Serbian. Not shy, his country-first activist mentality links each song with tales of heart-wrenching significance: Serbians’ perspective on the city of Vienna, Austria, as their own Xanadu, bold stances on the gypsy’s common sociological connections with punk and Ristic’s make-believe national radio station, from which the album takes its name. Think of this record as Ristic’s own personal DJ set. Kal doesn’t let nationalism get in the way of a good party.