Any of you who have seen the movie Borat will have already been exposed to Fanfare Ciocarlia as they were the band covering "Born To Be Wild". While the novelty of listening to that played on brass instruments made it fun to listen to, you'll soon realize how much more there is to this band than this tune. First of all, while it might have seemed like they were playing fast and furious on that rendition, judging by what you hear on this disc the reality is they were only playing at about half their potential speed. Unlike other bands who play flat out, the thing you quickly understand about Fanfare Ciocarlia is they aren't rushing. No matter what speed they play at each note is distinct and clearly defined so that we feel and hear even the smallest nuances. Unlike their Serbian counterparts whose main weapon is the trumpet, Fanfare are led into battle by their woodwinds, clarinet primarily, which gives them a much more distinctly Eastern European sound. You can easily believe how at one time Romany musicians joined forces with Jewish Klezmer bands when you hear the almost plaintive sound of the clarinet dart like a small bird through the thunder of the brass rhythm section.
While individually each band is a force to be reckoned with, on the four songs where they combine forces you have to wonder how the studio walls stayed standing under the onslaught. It's not just because of the volume of sound they produce, but because of the intensity of their music. In fact its hard to believe that the CD you're listening to has managed to capture all that was created during the recording sessions. Listen to the sound of the band member's voices in between and before the tracks and the joy and excitement they express just from being involved in the process. You'll quickly become aware of the limitations of even our most sophisticated technology. There's no way in hell it could have captured what all those voices represent during the recording of the music. We are able to hear the music and a good deal of the passion that has gone into its creation, but we can't see the smiles on the musicians faces, the laughter in their hearts or the pride in their souls.