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Saturday, February 16, 2013 Options
Martin Koenig's Vintage Balkan Village Vinyl

Hear this show now: | Add or read comments

Band in Halovo, Eastern Serbia, 1967. Photo: Martin Koenig. More images at
Martin's Balkan Echoes website - and in the cover art and inserts that accompany
the new Balkan Arts reissues.

Martin Koenig founded New York's Balkan Arts Center (now CTMD) in 1968, a vital cultural organization building cross-cultural bridges through music, dance and folklore. Koenig first fell in love with East European folk dancing in college in the 1950s. He adventurously traveled behind the iron curtain in Eastern Europe to learn the dances directly from the source. Seeing the old traditions rapidly disappearing he started documenting, with tape recorder and camera. One result was three classic 1970s Nonesuch Explorer LPs. But less well known were over a dozen 7" vinyl EPs of his field recordings (often made with his CTMD co-director Ethel Raim), the Balkan Arts Series, that circulated only in folk-dance circles.

Now over four decades later the Balkan Arts series is getting a broader release for the first time, both digitally and on the original 7" vinyl (with beautiful new cover art from Martin's photo archive, expansive liner notes and even an audio commentary from Koenig). Martin Koenig joins us to talk about his musical travels and share a sampling of this treasure trove of music.

This Week's Playlist:

(* = new)

Cannanes: Bumper Options / Small Batch / * (0:00:00 )

Cafe Tacuba: 53100 Options / SiNo (0:04:02 )

The Mops: Useless Opinion Options / Various Artists: Stray Cat Rock (0:08:38 )

Rung Fah Puping: PuYai Lee Santana Options / Various Artists: Thai? Dai! (0:09:44 )

Plearn Promdan: Ruk Kum Samong Options / Various Artists: Thai? Dai! (0:13:09 )

Sway Machinery and Khaira Arby: Gawad Teriamou Options / The House Of Friendly Ghosts, Vol. I (Featuring Khaira Arby) (0:21:16 )

Imperial Tiger Orchestra: Etu Gela Options / Addis Abeba (0:26:53 )
Imperial Tiger Orchestra has a full live album downloadable gratis from WFMU's Free Music Archive, here:

Either Orchestra: Feqer Aydèlèm Wey Options / Ethiopiques 20: Live in Addis / Buda Musique (0:31:54 )

Cristina Pato: Pandeirada Bestia Options / Migrations (0:40:21 )

Liliana Araujo: Cabeca Feita Options / Liliana Araujo (0:49:23 )

Interview: Martin Koenig Options (0:54:01 )

Petar Ivanov Penkov, Atanas Atasnasov Ivanov, Georgi Stoyanov Georgieve: Zborinka Options / Various Artists: Balkan Arts 701 - Bulgarian Folk Dances / Evergreene Music / * (1:05:03 )
New reissue

Petar Ivanov Penkov, Atanas Atasnasov Ivanov, Georgi Stoyanov Georgieve: Ruka Options / Various Artists: Balkan Arts 701 - Bulgarian Folk Dances / Evergreene Music / * (1:07:13 )

Strandjanskata Grupa: Chukanoto Options / Various Artists: Balkan Arts 701 - Bulgarian Folk Dances / Evergreene Music / * (1:10:11 )

Prvomajskata Grupa: Dobrolushko Horo Options / Various Artists: Balkan Arts 701 - Bulgarian Folk Dance / Balkan Arts / * (1:13:37 )

Interview: Martin Koenig Options (1:16:56 )

Vlach Band from East Serbia: Patrusha Options / Various Artists: Balkan Arts 703 / Evergreene Music / * (1:29:06 )

Musicians from Florina, Greek Macedonia: Amoliti Gaida Options / Various Artists: Balkan Arts 705 / Evergreene Music / * (1:34:34 )

Musicians from Romania: Brul Pe Opte Options / Various Artists: Balkan Arts 707 / Evergreene Music / * (1:35:01 )

Singers from Bulgaria: Lazaritsa Options / Various Artists: Balkan Arts 708 / Evergreene Music / * (1:37:30 )
Spring ritual song calling out good wishes from house to house

Zurla and daouli ensemble from Alexandria, Greek Macedonia recorded in NY: Ti Klez Kalmeni Maria Options / Various Artists: Balkan Arts 709 / Evergreene Music / * (1:38:23 )

Musicians from Greek Thrace: Zonaradikos Options / Various Artists: Balkan Arts 710 / Evergreene Music / * (1:43:25 )

Ballaké Sissoko: Kalata Diata Options / At Peace / Six Degrees / * (1:50:22 )

Diabel Cissokho: Patte D'oie Blues Options / Kanabory Siyama / World Village / * (1:55:29 )

Habib Koite & Eric Bibb: Foro Bana Options / Brothers in Bamako / * (2:01:20 )

Mahzuni Serif: Ibom Oluyor Options / Mahzuni Serif / DMM (2:06:04 )

Little Cow: Viragok a Reten Options / I'm in Love With Every Lady (2:09:40 )

Mano Negra: Sidi H'bibi Options / In the Hell of Patchinko (2:14:05 )
Salim Halili hit

Markscheider Kunst: Zambie Options / Markscheider Kunst (2:16:45 )

Elikeh: Olesafrica Options / Between 2 Worlds / Azalea City (2:21:11 )
Massama Dogo leads this DC-based band

Shibusashirazu Orchestra: Sorimachi Kiro Options / Shibusai (2:32:07 )
Music bed for concert listings

BBK: Bena Ngoma Options / Various Artists: The Karindula Sessions / * (2:43:43 )

Tarika Sammy: Voromby Options / Various Artists: Madigasikara 1 / GlobeStyle (2:48:25 )

Listener comments!

  Sat. 2/16/13 6:11pm Mitten John:

Stupendous twofer: Rob followed by Donna tonight. A woo, and a hoo, too!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 2/16/13 6:12pm Pete from Boston (and NJ):

Holy crap, The Cannanes! Great show already!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 2/16/13 6:15pm Rob Weisberg:

Thanks John! Pete, glad you liked the Cannanes track. Starting off with some rock although things are gonna change as the show progresses...
  Sat. 2/16/13 6:19pm RevolutionRabbitNov63:

Yes - exciting sounds already.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 2/16/13 6:23pm Hugh:

Love that Thai surf groove!
  Sat. 2/16/13 6:24pm RevolutionRabbitNov63:

...'I'm Just a Mops' - !!!...
: )

...'WorldRawk' - !

...Saturday's a Workday for me
- so Thanx for helping me expand my horizons in the evening
- & for bringing us the World.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 2/16/13 6:25pm Pete from Boston (and NJ):

Still kicking myself for missing their most recent very rare US appearance.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Sat. 2/16/13 6:28pm Sem Chumbo:

Listening in and loving what I hear. Obrigada muito.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 2/16/13 6:37pm Rob Weisberg:

Thanks Sem and Hugh! And Pete, yeah, I hope they come back sometime!
  Sat. 2/16/13 6:37pm RevolutionRabbitNov63:

...Hate to sound needy!
- but it would be Kewl if ClockTimes were Posted on Playlist
...WFMU(.org) defining Kewl already of course...

...People have - as received info. - told me of their reading in Gurdjieff (metaphyical philosopher) - & his recountings of strange Folk Magicks & such
- & - in my ignorance - I wonder if it relates @ all to tonight's Balkan theme/topix. He was of Greek origin himself, I think, altho' he's most often associated w/ Russia?
- Notable characterisitic of the Balkans them being 'transition point' (for lack of better-informed phrase) between all things Europe - & the Middle-East/Asia - ?? (Scales & Patterns of Voix Bulgare an example - ??)...
  Sat. 2/16/13 6:42pm RevolutionRabbitNov63:

...Voix Bulgares' - w/ an 'S'.
  Sat. 2/16/13 7:28pm RevolutionRabbitNov63:

- It is indeed pretty breathtaking that Mr. Koenig took the risks that he did - personally & politically (I think this is an example of what Joseph Campbell meant by 'Follow Your Bliss'!) to bring us a record of what has already (@ least partly?) ceased to be - !
- I remember hearing an interview w/ a Voix Bulgares lady pointing up the irony that Westerners were attending their concerts - while her own son wore an Iron Maiden t-shirt.
- But *this* here of course is deeper & wider than what mainstream media provides us thru any channels
- & decades before Voix Bulgares was published by the 4AD label too, certainly.
- Mr. Koenig eloquently, passionately & personally emphasizes the relation between this Music & the actual native 'agrarian' Culture & Lifestyle - which to their credit was noted in the Voix Bulgares materials too...& they certainly sang awesomely too...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 2/16/13 7:42pm Rob Weisberg:

Voix Bulgares was unusual in that it came out of a Soviet Era Bulgarian national ensemble that actually worked esthetically and - although this may be debatable and a bit beyond my knowledge - but I have a sense that it didn't necessarily undermine the village traditions the way such ensembles did in other places in the Soviet Union.
  Sat. 2/16/13 7:51pm selminma:

nice radio
  Sat. 2/16/13 7:53pm RevolutionRabbitNov63:

...point being Voix Bulgares were perhaps spared 'Sovietization' - being far enuff West - ???
- & they were totally A cappella
- whereas what we've heard *here* so far is Instrumental - w/ no voices @ all - !
...I wonder if that's a Men/Women thing - ????
...& Mr. Koenig wil take us to regions other than Bulgaria...

- Somewhat tangentially :
- If you haven't seen PBS' 'How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin' - you should - ! : )
  Sat. 2/16/13 7:54pm Marmalade Kitty:

Great show Rob!!
  Sat. 2/16/13 8:08pm Sir Random Listener:

Tonight's show is going great. I'm digging these tunes!
  Sat. 2/16/13 8:12pm bk:

Anyone else having a problem with the 91.1 signal tonight?My reception is awful.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Sat. 2/16/13 8:14pm Rob Weisberg:

91.1 signal checks out OK here. Thanks though bk for your concerns! And thanks Sir Random and M-Kitty!
  Sat. 2/16/13 8:16pm RevolutionRabbitNov63:

...& contrast it to the episode of PBS' 'Music Voyger' - hosted by the Putumayo label's Jacob Edgar - in which he visits contemporary Putin's Russia...

...If you play anything now reminiscent of great Malian Music - yer kinda gonna break my heart...
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Sat. 2/16/13 8:42pm Ike:

Hey BK, does that stand for Brooklyn? Maybe the Haitian pirate scumbags are on in Flatbush again at 90.9 screwing up 91.1? I hope not.
  Sat. 2/16/13 8:46pm bk:

don't hear another signal-i am in east village,but have had a pretty dependable signal since 1996 till last few weeks.tonight is really bad.
  Sat. 2/16/13 8:49pm RevolutionRabbitNov63:

...can you just get it online - ?...
  Sat. 2/16/13 8:56pm RevolutionRabbitNov63:

- I'm way the hell up here in New Hampshire
- so for me for WFMU - it's online or nothing - !
- But even for my local stations - plugging my computer into my stereo circumvents all the Antenna issues...
- As long as I stay on good terms w/ comcast - !...
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Sat. 2/16/13 8:59pm Snortley:

Reception in Kensington, Brooklyn is OK, even though I'm only a mile from that Haitian station. One track sounded bad, but that seemed to be its recording, not the signal.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Sat. 2/16/13 9:02pm Ike:

@BK, probably just sunspots or something then. @Snortley, I heard that one bad track too, I think it was out of phase.

Good show, Rob.
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