Karandila Gypsy Brass Orchestra
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Karandila Gypsy Brass Orchestra


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"Gypsy Summer review"

"...Their virtuosity is unassailable, but it is the subtle undercurrents that make them so interesting; a soulful blue note here, a bow to New Orleans there, and intentional or not, a bit of bebop swirling through the most unexpected places. The album also features singer Anita Christy in some beautiful ballads, accompanied by a single cimbalom on two and a violin on another. A brief bit of ambience probably best sums up the feel of the album, as a lone reed player accompanies the rhythmic clacking of a train passing through a railway station. The music is appropriately visual throughout, never contrived, always just on the edge of breaking into a spirited laugh or a despondent cry. This music not only survives, but on this album, it lives large.” - Cliff FURNALD (RootsWorld)

"Jazz Across The Border"

"Karandila is a wedding band which lasts out extremely long. And they play more lively, agile and more jazzlike than traditional bands. This brass orchestra mainly plays its own compositions. With its drum meters reminding of the "second line" rhythms of the New Orleans Jazz Karandila is celebrating a Balkan music which makes you believe jazz was not invented in America but on the weddings of the Balkan." - Guenther Huesmann

"Countess Maritza at Vienna’s Volksoper"

“Fuer den stärksten musikalischen Eindruck sorgt ein echtes "Zigeuner“ - Orchester: Das Karandila Gypsy Brass Orchestra bringt Kalmans Melodien in rasendem Tempo und kauft dem Volksopernorchester unter Guido Mancusi die Schneid ab.” - Wiener Zeitung

"...suddenly the Karandila"

...suddenly the Karandila Orchestra burst in, booked perhaps for a mad tea party - typical oriental Gypsy Brass Band, with a swaggering side drum that sets up a punchy groove. Before long there are clarinet and saxophone solos that sound so raw and intense that you wonder whether that's just playing reeds.

- Simon Braughton / Songlines music magazine

"Balkan Fever-Festival"

Dienstag, 29. April 2008
Jugoslawisches Herzland
Das Balkan-Fever-Festival beweist: Wien liegt tief in Osteuropa

Ja, sind die denn wahnsinnig? Und wer sind die uberhaupt? Mit Kusturica, Boban Markovic und Roma-Blaskapellen hat das, was die zehn Herren veranstalten, nicht viel zu tun. Klingt eher wie Dizzie Gillespie goes Speed Metal. Die beiden Schlagzeuger treiben in einem ungeraden Takt Familie Cherkezov vor sich her, die hinter Hornern und Tuba die Backen aufbläst. Alt-Sax und Trompeten setzen ihre vibratosen Fanfaren, dass die Septakkorde nur so scheppern und man den Kosovo rausrucken wurde fur eine Packung Ohropax. Nur der E-Bass bleibt cool, während Band-Leader Angel Tichaliev sich zum x-ten Mal den Schweiss von der Halbglatze wischt. Die Klarinette setzt ein, holzerner Blitzableiter im Blechgewitter, aber davon wird der Druck auf Ohren und Hirn auch nicht leichter: Läufe, dass einem Steve Vai schwindelig wurde, zappaesk trudelnde Soli. Wenn man jetzt die Augen zumacht, glaubt man, der leibhaftige Zorn stehe auf der Buhne. Nein, da spielt keine durchgeknallte New Yorker Bebop-Combo, die auf den Balkan-Express aufgesprungen ist. Die zehn Musiker kommen echt vom Balkan, aus Sliven am Sudhang des bulgarischen Balkan-Gebirges, dort wo die Turkei nicht weit ist. Sie heissen Karandila und offiziell nennt sich das, was sie machen, Hochzeitsmusik. Was mussen das fur Hochzeiten sein.
Tanzbar ist die Musik von Karandila allerdings, das beweisen die Hupfenden in der Mitte des schwarzen Kubus, der als "Szene Wien", eingezwängt zwischen Schnellbahn und Supermarkt, die alternative Aussenstelle der Wiener Stadthalle in Simmering bildet. Die bulgarischen Blasmusikanten eroffnen in der "Szene" das "Balkan Fever"- Festival, das heuer zum funften Mal in der Stadt grassiert.
- Suddeutsche Zeitung - Christian Jostmann


"Na Kupon s Karandila" - Diapason Records, 1998
"Gypsy Summer - Tales of Surviving" - (p) Kuker Music, 1999; (c) Messechina Music, 2008
"Niama ne iskam..." - ARA Audio-Video/Diapason Records, 2000
"Revolution" - (p) W.G.Jurjans, 2004
"Cyclops Camel" - (p)+(c) Messechina Music, 2006/2008

"Na Kupon s Karandila"
Diapason Records, 1998
Local release - out of print

"Gypsy Summer - Tales of Surviving"
(p) Kuker Music, 1999; (c) Messechina Music, 2008
OST from the documentary by Milan Ognianov
Featuring Karandila Brass Orchestra and Anita Christy

This CD presents music from the film "Gypsy Summer -Tales of Surviving", directed by Milan Ognianov. The film is about a journey through the life of gypsies - "the children of fire and love", as put by Anita Christy, gypsy singer and guide in the camera ravings on the road in Bulgaria. The songs are a powerful reverberation of the misery as well as joy of the gypsy people who have always been persecuted and have found in music there ethnic identity and determination to survive. This musical "gypsy summer" represents a colourful mixture of fiery music, involving musicians of different ages, (5 to 75) coming from different corners of Bulgaria, as well as combining various genres and styles (from Anita Christy's European ballad and romance, to a more Balkan and Oriental mood found in the music of the Karandila Orchestra). Anita's duende, the vibrations of her deep and sensual voice might well rival with the sweet sound of the not-so-popular-in-Bulgaria cymbal, played by Mutzi Aivazov (aged 75). Similarly, Ventzislav Takev's "golden violin" meets the lively rhythms of the Karandila Brass Orchestra from Sliven, headed by trumpet player Angel Tichaliev, a descendant from a long line of famous musicians. "With its drum beats reverberating the "second line" rhythms of New Orleans jazz, Karandila celebrates a Balkan music, which makes you believe jazz was not invented in America, but at Balkan weddings" - as Mr. Guenther Huesmann, German critic and artistic director of the Berlin "Jazz Across The Border" Festival enthusiastically remarked. The result is a sparkling mix of Balkan fusion, Oriental kyuchek and overseas jazz, which takes you to another dimension - that of the ever-bustling gypsy funfair...

"Niama ne iskam..."
ARA Audio-Video/Diapason Records, 2000
Local release - out of print

"Revolution - Karandila gypsy brass orchestra presents worldvilage songs of fights and revolution"
(p) W.G.Jurjans, 2004

Bulgarian brass band Karandila doesn’t confine itself to a perfect performance of traditional wedding music. An explosive, celebratory mixture evolves when they cast an eye on New Orleans and Memphis and pick up fiery funk and bebop. In the Revolution album Karandila in a quite unusual way picks the popular worker and revolutionary songs turning them into dancehall hits. We can hear the irony in there version of Die Internationale or the deadly seriousness when playing Hasta Siempre (Commandante Che Guevera). The album have turned Karandila's music into a favored pick for antiglobalist dance parties.

"Cyclops Camel"
(p)+(c) Messechina Music, 2006
remastered edition - 2008

Thanks to the experience and impressions accumulated over the years, Karandila are able to come up with a programme that is not at all characteristic of the average Balkan Gypsy brass band. In 2003, they participated in the staging of Countess Maritza at Vienna’s Volksoper. This experience and years of touring added to their music’s variety and widened their development.

All this is visible in their 2005 project named Cyclops Camel. The CD is a short story, made up of ten events, about the experiences and the wanderings of the band. There are pieces in it by the US-based Bulgarian jazz musician Milcho Leviev - Peasant dance, the Serbian music idol Saban Bajramovic - Yek Disajlin, as well as Cyclops Camel by the Bulgarian theatre director Boyko Bogdanov. All of these songs have been arranged especially for the band by its leader, Angel Tichaliev.

Angel Tichaliev's various interests bring an Afro mood to the Gypsy Afrobeat at the beginning, help Maya's vocals to stand out in the traditional Djelem Djelem and Ache Pene and take you on a walk beyond the Balkans with Stockholm Kyuchek. The vocals of Anita Christy have powerful emotional impact in Yek Disajlin (One Morning).

There are also special quests featured in the album, among them the famous clarinetist Ivo Papasov (*Winner BBC 2005 World Music Audience Award!) a pure pleasure to listen to in Sofian dance.

The new 2008 edition of this album comes with a remastered sound and includes hidden track where you can here Ivo Papasov talking with the clarinet player from Karandila and a bonus track brilliantly arranged by Angel Tichaliev instrumental version of Ache Pene.


I-Wolf & Burdy meet the Babylonians (Klein Records, 2004)

If you ever wondered what you might get if you crossed I-WOLF f



Karandila Orchestra was formed in 1994 and its debut performance was at Romfest, in Stara Zagora/Bulgaria, in the same year. The orchestra was named after a place called Karandila (the word is of Turkish origin), which is a beautiful park area near Sliven.

The orchestra's source of musical inspiration includes a repertoire of oriental, Arabic and Turkish tunes introduced to Bulgaria by Ottoman military orchestras, as well as Armenian and Karakachani melodies. However, its greatest influence is Balkangypsy and traditional Bulgarian music. The goal of the founder of the orchestra, a popular trumpet player from Sliven, Angel Tichaliev was to revive the spirit of traditional Bulgarian brass bands and at the same time revolutionize the traditional sound by adding a hint of the modern.

Today Karandila’s sound is one which is diverse and includes a wide range of styles and may lead one to believe that the origins of the marching bands of New Orleans are rooted in Balkan music. However its melodies are rich in compositions that include some Bebop, lots of Swing and strong oriental groove. The rise of Karandila was swift. Its music was successfully presented by Milan Ognyanov for the documentary film “Gypsy Summer” co-produced by the French Canal+. In 1999 the orchestra took part in the prestigious “Jazz Across The Border“ Festival in Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. In 2000 it took part in the Italian leg of Goran Bregovic’s European tour. Soon after the orchestra played in and toured almost every European country, from Antwerp to Prague and from Stockholm to Palermo. It represented Bulgaria in such prestigious festivals as “Europalia 2002 Bulgaria” in Belgium in the autumn of 2002, where the orchestra gave no less than seven performances.

In 2002 the popular and talented singer Anita Christy joined the orchestra. (Anita is the niece of the legendary Bulgarian clarinet player Ramadan Lolov, who was one of the first Bulgarian musicians to record traditional Bulgarian music on a 78rpm shellac plate).

Karandila plays original music from which popular musicians such as Goran Bregovic and Boban Markovic have drawn inspiration. Listeners will be inspired by the originality and wholesomeness of the band’s sound. In 2007 Karandila joined the Austrian pop star Hubert von Goisern in his Linz 2009 European Capital of Culture promotional tour and organised joint concerts in Bulgaria with the top German brass band the famous Mardi Gras BB.