Trans-Siberian March Band | The Tractor Makers' Ball

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World: Balkan World: Eastern European Moods: Mood: Party Music
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The Tractor Makers' Ball

by Trans-Siberian March Band

Encompassing everything from Balkan Ska to Klezmer Reggae, TSMB's unique take on the rich musical heritage of Eastern Europe and the Balkans is guaranteed to make even the most reluctant party goer get up and dance!!
Genre: World: Balkan
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Kustino Oro
3:04 $0.75
2. Gorky Street
2:18 $0.75
3. Mesk Havasi
3:03 $0.75
4. Bublitschki
2:17 $0.75
5. Ska Maro
3:03 $0.75
6. Sher
2:54 $0.75
7. Politburo Reggae
4:10 $0.75
8. Sina Nari
3:33 $0.75
9. Mesecina
4:14 $0.75
10. Petyorshka
2:28 $0.75
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
With their unique blend of Balkan brass wierdness and Soviet era fun, the Trans-Siberian March Band has been wowing crowds all over the UK, and as far afield as Vienna, Budapest, Kotor, Mostar and Sarajevo for the last three years. Their east meets west brass blowout encompasses everything from Balkan Ska, Gypsy Reggae, Mexician Trumpet tunes and Afghan love songs and their first album "The Tractor Makers' Ball" includes some of their most popular tunes. Described in the press as "The Sex Pistols of Balkan Brass", the party is guaranteed when TSMB turn up, and this album is a unique opportunity to experience the exciting and chaotic mayhem of their live gigs at home.



to write a review

Dave Mackay

Bizarre and more bizarre and more fun and more fun
This albums great strength lies in the way it shows the similarity between subtly different genres - all the tracks sound great because they are brassed up! The band are pretty zany but one of the nice things they do is render this music accessible to Joe Public rather than keeping them in a dusty little Balkan or Klezmer or Russian box. I have seen this crowd play when I was working in London,with two tuba’s, two trombones, three trumpets and a horn plus reeds and percussion and it was awesome to behold. I don’t dance myself (far to shy) but plenty of others do. It always fun when they drop into something that’s not in 2:4 or 4:4 when all the Brits start stumbling whereas all of the people from Greece, Turkey and the Balkans (plenty in London) know exactly how to dance in 7:8 or whatever it was (end of music theory section). The CD is nicely packaged and produced with a nice book of photos. Kustino Oro is a major trumpet tune that’s really quite evocative. It’s almost Mexican in this particular outing. I just adore the pastiche that is Politburo reggae. Eat your heart out Leonard Brezhnev. I liked Gorky Street a lot when I first heard it but when I realised that there was a message behind the lyrics, (Stalin’s purges), I actually became quite emotional. It’s a rare thing to capture an historical tragedy in a simple lyric with a tune that is, unusually, both upbeat and poignant at the same time. Nice tuba solo on this. I am sure an earlier reviewer is right in that purists might feel slightly disgruntled but this is just like they are going to a concert, hearing a symphony and complaining its not like their own recording at home. Music is evolution. Fanfare Ciocarlia play James Bond and these Trans-Siberians play music from a geographical swathe the Pale in Russia, down through the Balkans, Turkey and the Middle East with an infectious and raucous energy. I do hope that they come to New York soon.

Bernadette Foley

A Balkan Night In
This is a CD from a British Balkan band. Firstly I don’t think they care so much about whether they are very authentic or not. In their live concerts, which they play all over UK but mainly in London, their big thing is getting the audience dancing and sometimes singing along. The CD features only a part of their live set. It has Russian singalong songs with no words, like Petyoshka, and one with words, Gorky Street, that has also been made into a ska song. Politbureau Reggae is a strange mix of klezmer and a driving reggae beat, which shows off the band’s brass and clarinet solo playing. They also cover the best song from Kusturica’s Gypsy film Black Cat White Cat – this is the Ladybird Song – and amazingly do it justice with a ska beat. The klezmer tunes will not please purists, but everybody else will like them: bagel song Bublitski and a song simply called Sher, whose slow beginning makes you think of a funeral, but it soon gets going to what the band call horse-dancing tempo. Another song from a Kusturica film starts the CD, Kustino Oro, a Serbian song with a fantastic trumpet lead. The Turkish songs Mesk Havasi and Sina Nari show sweetly expert clarinet playing. The band’s version of Goran Bregovic anthem Mesecina sounds strangely restrained on the CD, and to hear it in its full glory you need to see this band live. This is the next best thing, though: get the slivovic out and invite your friends, crank this CD up loud, and you’ll have the neightbours knocking, a genuine euphoric Balkan night in, and a hungover morning after.


Get Involved!
There has a been a surge of interest for the multi instumented party band with the popularity of bands such as Gogol Bordello and Orkestra Del Sol, but whatever you are expecting from this CD, wipe it out of your head right now. You might be thinking this kind of music just isn't really your thing but put your preconceptions aside because this is the Trans-Siberian renaissance.
'The Tractor Maker's Ball' is the first full album release from The Trans-Siberian March Band, a 13 + collective of reprobates currently spreading the love for their mix of Balkan ska, klezmer reggae-Russo-Mexican trumpet tunes and Ottoman battle marches across the UK and beyond. It is about the closest you'll get to the full drama of a live TSMB gig and believe me, this band has drama. It features some of their most popular live tracks veering from the sexy vocals of poet soviet Bryony Duncan at the opening of slow starter into rampaging beast 'Mesecina' to the all out storming cacophony of 'Bublitschki' and onto the totally bad (br)ass skank of 'Politburo Reggae'. Think Polyphonic Spree if they grew some balls and did panto.
Skilled, exciting and tight as a lib-dem budget, if this doesn't get you dancing, nothing will.
In short, this aint no conical-bore.