In my quest to expand my musical mind to the breaking point, I head to some interesting places. The latest excursion led me, almost accidentally, to the Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar and their brand of exciting, rapid Balkan brass music.
Boban Markovic is somewhat of a legend in the world of Balkan brass, often recognized as one of the top trumpet players to ever emerge from Serbia. His Boban Markovic Orkestar, based out of Southern Serbia, has been collecting accolades and awards for over 17 years.
Boban’s son, Marko Markovic, joined the Orkestar at the ripe age of 14 and was following in his father’s footsteps with amazing trumpet chops all his own. The Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar soon began to use the youth of Marko with the skill and flexibility of Boban to turn Balkan brass music on its head.
Devla: Blown Away to Dancefloor Heaven finds the Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar playing aggressive, enchanting gypsy brass music with notes of hip hop, flamenco and dance hall grooves tossed in for good measure. The record, out in November on Piranha Musik, rips through exhausting melodies, rapid rhythms and a square mile of talent that will have listeners tapping their feet with all the vigour and flavour of a Serbian BBQ joint.
I was taken by the aggression of the playing, which really starts to dig its heels in with “Udri Mile.” Featuring vocalist Rade Krstic performing out of a decades-long retirement, the opening cut is dynamic, enthralling, and fun.
Ljubiša Stojanovic lends his remarkable vocals to “Kum Boemcina,” delivering a passionate performance over the jazzy track.
A smooth, groovy beat pulses through the title track and allows both Boban and Marko to show off a little. The cut is cool and the smouldering funk and trumpet accents help drive it further into the night. “Devla” would feel at home in anywhere drinks are flowing.
Devla showcases the Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar’s drive, passion and skill with a salvo of fast, enjoyable songs worth repeating. There’s a staggering amount of energy on display here, from the rolling notes of Boban’s trumpet to the youthful exuberance of Marko’s genre-bending performing. For something truly different and breathlessly fun, check out the Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar.