Club Contact

The new MP3 blog from London's club Contact. The idea is to allow people to hear new music they wouldn't have otherwise found but, if anyone has any copyright issues with a particular song, i'll take the link down. Songs are only available for a limited amount of time.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Chisinau That's What I Call Music *

Coincidentally, in the same week as i returned from my adventuring, the new Michael Palin documentary on BBC1 was covering much of the same ground. One of the highlights of the slight but interesting programme was a brief section showing the peerless Zdob Si Zdub playing deep in the Moldovan countryside. Although lovely to see one of Europe's most under-valued groups get a little coverage on UK television, the piece was most notable for confirming that yes, their matronly mascot Boonika (Grandmother) is still alive and banging. Boonika Bate Doba achieved an incredible top-six finish in Moldova's first foray into Eurovision a couple of years ago despite the group receiving little or no backing from the government that still controls much of the domestic media and hailing from a country, frankly, most people in Western Europe had absolutely no idea existed. Others may have had money, friends and a Eurovision pedigree but ZsZ had a secret weapon - a twirling pensioner with a drum almost as big as she was.

Moldova is, euphemistically, a "troubled" country - notable for its extreme poverty, people trafficking and the internal conflict that has seen much of its industrial heart break off to form the unofficial "Republic" of Transdniestr so the ability to compete with the major players in the continent and come away successful was a huge source of national pride. The new Zdob Si Szub album, Ethnomecania superbly reinvents some of their previous work to add more of a traditional feel and to give more prominence to the Tsigane (Romany / Gypsy) influence that has always been a part of their work. It also contains a wonderful Russian-language cover of Kino's classic Videli Noch. As good as Gogol Bordello's Super Taranta was, this is the Gypsy-punk album of the year.

Zdob Si Zdub - Boonika Bate Doba

Zdob Si Zdub - Tiganii Si OZN

Zdob Si Zdub - Videli Noch



  • At 2:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hello!I live exactly near Moldova and when I saw that granny at TV I start laughing!You remembered me that;)Anyway, not all the romanian music sounds so great;))


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