REMIXED: The Remix Album. Available digitally only.
From Serbian schoolyards and skate punk tours to symphony halls and sketchy bars, Slavic Soul Party! has made fans and friends in all stratas of the music world. In 2007 the band invited new and old friends to put their own spin on the SSP! sound; the result is Remixed, an album available as a download only, which Barbès Records will release on February 26, 2008. Remixed is ten tracks of brass band energy filtered through the ears of DJs, composers, audio experimenters, and bad-ass musicians from Bulgaria to Seattle.
Remixed includes tracks by Bulgarian DJ and EthnoMesh pioneer Joro-Boro, Seattle musicians Casey Foubert and James McAlister of Sufjan Stevens’ band, Bellyhouse guru DJ Alex Alot, composer and multi-instrumentalist Curtis Hasselbring, Brooklyn drummer EJ Fry, Grammy Award-winning engineer Marc Urselli, and even Slavic Soul Party! re-imagining itself.
SSP!’s vision of a modern brass band sound that acoustically incorporates the bleeps and blips of modern life was presented on Teknochek Collision (Barbès Records), and is the source material for most of Remixed. The exception is Çaçak Nirvana, a fast and furious Seattle-inspired rocker propelled by the Serbian oompah tradition which is from the band’s 2006 release Bigger (Barbès Records).
While Remixed certainly sounds different than a SSP! performance, the concept isn’t that far off. “I think of brass bands as intrinsically remixed from the start,” says Moran. “Historically, you’ve got foreign instruments being used to express a local musical tradition, so it’s already multi-layered. In SSP!, we’re part of the tradition of brass bands especially because we make a new mashup of styles: Gypsy and funk, brass and accordion, modal and harmonic. With Remixed we’ve just taken that idea one step further: acoustic and electric.”
DJ Alex Alot founded Global Remix in 2003 to develop and implent a fusion style of music called Bellyhouse™, a blend of middle eastern drumming over house music grooves.
Ron Caswell is a tubist from the municipality of Trenton, NJ, which he escaped to attend the Mannes College of Music. He has performed on tuba with the New York City Opera, Metropolitan Opera, New Jersey Symphony, Our State Fair (Broadway), Flying Karamazov Brothers (Broadway), Orchestra of St. Lukes, Slavic Soul Party!, Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars and too many more to mention. Ron has co-produced salsa records with Martin Arroyo and performed with numerous Latin bands playing trumpet and tuba. He also plays bass in rock projects including the underground East Village rock sensation the KNOBS!
Curha is the alias/nickname of Curtis Hasselbring, a composer, trombonist, and guitarist and who resides in Brooklyn, NY. He goes by Curha for his electronic-based projects involving stacks of LPs, a wide variety of instruments and sound filters, and a general disdain for sunlight. Curtis leads the groups The New Mellow Edwards, Decoupage, and the Curha-chestra, and has spend the last 18 years playing and recording with Medeski, Martin & Wood, Golem, Slavic Soul Party!, Gloria Delux, the Jazz Passengers, Andrew D’Angelo, Anthony Coleman, and Roberto Rodriguez, among many others.
Joro-Boro established himself as the resident DJ of Mehanata (a.k.a. the Bulgarian Bar) in New York City. He plays and promotes Kulturefuk/EthnoMesh – the dirty and uninhibited side of globalization force-fed back into a party without borders, a 3-day Gypsy wedding or a post-national state in which noise, libido and ecstasy detonate the market mono-culture. He currently hosts Radio Nomadi Mundial (a weekly internet broadcast), collaborates with performance artist Jill Sigman/Thinkdance, and is working on an album.
Casey Foubert is a guitarist, drummer, songwriter, producer, and engineer living in the Seattle area. He has performed and recorded with artists such as Sufjan Stevens, Richard Swift, My Brightest Diamond, Jeremy Enigk, Damien Jurado, Rocky Votolato, Pedro the Lion, The Blood Brothers and Crystal Skulls.
EJ Fry is a percussionist and composer from San Francisco and now living in Brooklyn. He started goofing around on computers with DOS and the Apple IIc back when floppy disks were 5 1/4″. He continues to goof around on computers, although now that work is called remixing; he also performs with his bands Slow To Wake and The 2uo, and is currently developing a solo project.
James McAlister is a Seattle-based drummer, multi-instrumentalist, and sound artist who collaborates with New York artists including Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond, and Slavic Soul Party! He has recently finished a solo record under the moniker 900X, and continues to tour internationally and record with some of his favorite songwriters and musicians.
Matt Moran is a percussionist, vibraphonist, and composer who lives in Brooklyn. He is the founder and primary composer and arranger for Slavic Soul Party! In addition to performing and teaching Balkan music, Matt is also a noted jazz vibraphonist, voted a Rising Star in the Downbeat critics poll. He has released six of his own albums on labels including Knitting Factory Records and CRI, performed on two dozen others, and toured extensively in Europe and North and South America. He has performed with a diverse range of artists including Saban Bajramovic, Sufjan Stevens, Combustible Edison, John Hollenbeck, and Frank London.
Marc Urselli is a two-time Grammy Award-winning engineer, producer, mixer, composer, sound designer, and entrepreneur from Europe now living in New York. His clients include Les Paul, Sting, Joss Stone, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Keith Richards, Luther Vandross, Ennio Morricone, Vincenzo Pastano, Sam Cooke, Goo Goo Dolls, ZZ Top, G.O.S., Roy Hargrove, Jerry Gonzalez & Fort Apache, Slavic Soul Party and many many others. He spends his days recording and producing emerging and established artists in the studio as well as composing music and doing sound design film and TV.
Check out of the band’s press on Rock Paper Scissor‘s website.