If you were at all taken aback by the opening track's Balkan reggae, the second song, "Sufi Dub" will leave you reeling. One of the major flash points in the ethnic violence that cursed the countries of the former Yugoslavia, especially Zvekic's native Bosnia, were the attacks on the Muslim communities. "Sufi Dub" draws upon the mystic Islamic sect's philosophy of love for its lyrics, which are sung in both English and Bosnian - unfortunately neither the liner notes nor the press materials accompanying the disc detail which of the various Balkan languages the band used on individual songs - while musically it uses what sounds like traditional Eastern European and Middle Eastern instruments to lay down what is essentially a hip-hop beat. Then instead of electronically overdubbing the vocals and music and relying heavily on bass tracks to create the layers of sound we associate with "dub" music, both Zvekic and the musicians create the effect by echoing their own efforts manually.
The result, at least in this case, is a refreshing change from what often just sounds like somebody skipping a record on one note over and over again in time to the rhythm. Here it sounds like an organic extension of both vocal and instrumental lines, creating an emphasis that makes us pay more attention to what is being said. Far too few dub songs carry meaningful messages anymore; they've just become so much fodder for the dance floor, and most people are used to ignoring their lyrical content. By creating the dub style live in the studio, not only does La Cherga re-energize a format that has become overused and tired, they have shown that it can be used for any style of music.
As most of the band members came of age during the horror of the civil wars in the Balkans during the 1990s and the recriminations and war crimes trials that followed, they can't help but be aware of the impact a song named "Sufi Dub" would have in their various homelands. For while every nationality was on the receiving end of some sort of ethnic violence, the Muslim population were the only ones without a designated territory behind whose borders they could find a semblance of shelter. Serbians, Croatians, Macedonians and Bosnians all had their own countries they could flee to for shelter if necessary, but the Muslims were left with no choice but to face whatever might come. Thus the inclusion of this song, with its recognition of the peaceful aspect of Islam, is a slap in the face to those who preached hatred in the region.
While there are none of the overtly political songs that other bands might have produced coming from similar circumstances, Revolve is in some ways one of the most intensely political albums you'll ever hear. For while the former Yugoslavia has divided itself along ethnic and nationalistic lines, La Cherga have steadfastly gone in the other direction and blurred the distinctions between the various people through their music. Maybe to people outside the Balkans this might not be obvious; most of us couldn't tell the difference between a tune from Macedonia and Serbia if our lives depended on it. However, for those who can, this disc will serve as a reminder of what has been lost by the segregation of the various people.