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The m9 | Surdulica

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by The m9

The m9 explores an emerging style of Romani brass music from the Balkans in their debut album, featuring a blend of old and new, East and West.
Genre: World: Balkan
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Super Novica
3:51 $0.99
2. Marijo, deli bela kumrijo
3:42 $0.99
3. Zagužanjski Čoček
2:31 $0.99
4. T-Funk
5:20 $0.99
5. Surdulica
4:00 $0.99
6. Kolo Baro
3:45 $0.99
7. Kobra Čoček
3:39 $0.99
8. Hani Čoček
5:13 $0.99
9. Sitno Oro
3:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Surdulica is an album by The m9, released in 2016, and featuring Romani-style brass music from Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia. The album highlights the emerging modern styles of Romani brass from around the greater Balkans, with an emphasis on the music of the annual Vlasinsko Leto Brass Festival in Surdulica, Serbia, the regional semi-final competition before Guča.

01: Super Novica is a mix of modern and traditional melodies from Southern Serbia composed and arranged by legendary trumpeter Demiran Ćerimović, for the 2006 Guča festival of brass bands, and originally featuring his son, Novica Ćerimović. Modern chords were applied in 2014 when the tune was taught to the youth ensemble Orkestar Vladimira Ivanovica for their competition season. This arrangement was refined for The m9 by Erik Peters in late 2014 and features a blend arranging styles from both 2006, 2014 versions, as well as some innovative twists. Eleni Govetas performs the saxophone solo.

02: Marijo, deli bela kumrijo is a traditional Serbian folk song, with origins as far back as the medieval period. This very modern arrangement by Macedonian trumpet phenom Dzambo Agušev features a contrast of the simple melody with complex modern jazz harmonies and chords, set to the traditional slow 7/8 rhythm of the lesnoto dance. It was this arrangement, and it's poignant minor 9 chord which originally inspired the band's style and name.

03: Zagužanjski Čoček was written and arranged by Siniša Stankovic in 2009 and named after his home town of Zagunžanje, Serbia. It was performed by Orkestar Siniše Stankovica and appeared on a compilation album of Serbian brass music in 2012. The m9 performs Zagužanjski Čoček in the style of Stankovic's band in so far as we can, and we celebrate the tune as representative of music from the villages surrounding the town of Surdulica. Erik Peters is featured on the trumpet solo.

04: Originally known as Trubhangrastafunk, T-Funk is the inspiration of bandleader Erik Peters by way of a medley of two songs from different sides of the world, each inspired by music from yet another side of the world. The opening melody was recorded as Labudov Čoček by Demiran Ćerimovic of Vranje, Serbia in 2002 and is essentially an Indian Bhangra melody set in the Serbian Romani trubači style. What follows is the smash-hit Rastafunk by Joseph Williams of The Hot 8 Brass Band from New Orleans, Louisiana. The tunes become entangled, revealing the myriad influences acting on these two, unique brass cultures existing a world apart. Joe Correia is the featured valve trombone soloist, Erik Peters is the featured trumpet soloist.

05: Surdulica, the tune, is the work of Guča-winning master trumpeter Elvis Ajdinović, one of the all-time greats of the Serbian Romani brass tradition, and a practitioner of the modern style. Ajdinović, who hails from the town of Surdulica, composed the tune for the 2004 competition season and performed it at Guča that year. The m9 has adapted the melody, and features Benji Rifati on trumpet solo.

06: Kolo Baro originated as a composition for the Mahala Rai Banda's 2009 release "Ghetto Blasters." The melody and arrangement is emblematic of modern Romanian Romani brass styles, and serves as both an update of, and a reference to the long standing brass traditions of the Romani diaspora in the Moldavian region of Romani, and in particular, the village of Zece Prăjini. The contrasting swung and straight rhythms of this version highlight the conflicts between traditional Romanian performance, and more modern (and more profitable) "world music" performances. Trumpet solo by Benji Rifati.

07: About the track:
Kobra Čoček is a traditional Romani čoček adaptation of an Indian folk melody supposedly originating with Romani musicians of Rajansthan. The melody has been performed by Romani bands in the territories of the Former Yugoslavia, including Macedonia and Serbia since at least 1980, and likely earlier, and remains popular in new iterations today. The m9 learned the melody and an arrangement from Demiran Ćerimović in 2013, and has since incorporated additional melodies and a few surprises. The trumpet solo was performed by Tschuai, and saxophonist Eleni Govetas is featured throughout.

08: Hani Čoček is a modern Čoček composed by Serbian Romani trumpet ace Bojan Ristić for the 2013 competition season, and its performance at Surdulica in July of that year was instrumental in inspiring the repertoire of The m9. This performance is as faithful as possible to the original performance from Guča of that year, with a few artistic liberties taken on behalf of the band. Ristić has since commented that The m9 performs the tune "precisely" as it was originally performed. The arrangement highlights the virtuosic talents of Mattie Remix on tuba, in a style unique to the modern Romani brass world, as well as a trumpet solo by Benji Rifati.

09: Sitno Oro is a composition of "King" Kočo Agušev and Đemal Agušev from their 1995 album Koktel Istok-Zapad (East-West Cocktail). In a departure from previous, more traditional Macedonian brass bands, the Aguševi embraced western and eastern influences and contributed their own outrageous talents to what has since become the modern brass style of Macedonia. Sitno Oro both encapsulates the traditional feel of a 7/8 râčenica dance but also the driving chords and lightning-fast melodic passages that continue to inspire The m9 to greater levels of performance. Benji Rifati is featured on the final trumpet melody.



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