NMC United Entertainment Ltd. (label)
02 September 2021 (released)
21 September 2021
Anyone who regularly reads my reviews will know I like to bang on about the joys of musical cross-pollinations, and here is another cracking example. Balkan Beat Box play a beguiling mix of hip-hop, klezmer, Balkan, Middle-Eastern and Gypsy music, fusing new and traditional sounds into a heady brew that hits your feet as well as your heart. At their best, there are few who can match them for wit or invention, but is “Long Time Coming” their best?
All the ingredients you'd expect are here – a flawless feel for beats and rhythms, off-kilter, shuffling percussion, a wild yet coherent melange of instruments and easy-flowing rhymes. This represents a distinctly softer side to Balkan Beat Box, however, with slow synth chords and vocoder effects. It feels a little further away from their most captivating adventures, a little too close to mainstream R&B. For an outfit this good, any criticism is always going to feel harsh. This is still great music. It will be interesting to see what long-time fans make of this release.