1000 Albums Project

ALBUM 19

Disko Partizani, by Shantel
Suggested by Stuart Taylor

My favourite playlist is called Last Song On Earth. It contains songs I feel are the pinnacle of an artist’s efforts, be that commercially or culturally. It’s also got a few tunes that I just think are corking.

It’s tough to make the list. I curate it with an iron fist and a cold heart. I haven’t added a new song for over a year. At the time of writing, the list contained 41 absolute belters.

Now I’ve listened to Disko Partizani, it contains 42.

The sound of Eastern Europe tradition infects every track on this joyful album. While you might expect this to be rather processional, with an oomp-pah-pah feel, this is wholly avoided by the dance-driven drums and synth bass sound. Happily, they don’t overpower the rest of the track, but serve instead as a rhythmic compass that keeps everything flowing in the right direction.

The album is rife with a twittering clarinet, a sound and timbre forever associated with Jewish celebratory music. Here, though, it’s less Fiddler on the Roof and more Dancing on the Ceiling, such is the delight on display. There’s some great brasswork to accompany the woodwind, combining to produce an eclectic sound that’s international in scope.

In fact, “International” is a fine way to describe the signature sound. Balkan brass over dance drums, with multi-lingual (and multi-sexual) vocals with a euro-dance and Bollywood tinge, helmed by a German DJ… who the hell knew?

The melodies are infectious, but the lyrics can be rather cheesy at times. However, almost adds to the party atmosphere and Eurotrash edge. “My baby came down from Romania, she was the queen of Transylvania…” It’ll not win any prizes for poetry, but it’s charming nonetheless.

So, what song made my Forever Playlist? Predictably, it’s the album’s title track, Disko Partizani. It’s the perfect track, serving as a taut medley of everything that makes the album special.

Originally, I’d planned to rate this album as an 8, but I’ve settled on a strong 7/10. From the stone 10/10 of the opening (title) track, best song of the project thus far, things can only go downhill. there. It’s doubtless a great album, but starts to feel a touch repetitive, a victim of it’s own success as it chases the tail of its opening salvo. Still, wonderful stuff.

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