Club Balkan Fever was born on May Day 2009.
It became a shining beacon of good times for a very heterogeneous crowd: young and old, Finnish and foreign, lawyers, kebab cooks, university students, folk musicians, pop music nerds, ad agency hustlers, traveling moustache wax salesmen, municipal infrastructure workers... It was like a harbor bar in a Kusturica movie based on a Hugo Pratt comic.To celebrate their 2½ (!) anniversary, the club released this epic compilation album. I doubt you’ll find it anywhere but Finland. Which, depending on perspective, is either a shame or one more (good) reason to visit Finland. The CD showcases “crème de la rakiya” (I keep quoting the album’s liner notes) of Finnish Balkan music. (I have to admit, “Finnish Balkan” sounds a bit weird. Last time I was checking, Finland was not in Balkans. But modern Balkan music does not have to come from Balkans, just like flamenco does not have to come from Andalusia or, indeed, Finnish music does not have to come from Finland. Even though it often does.) And then something else entirely: rap by Paleface, ska-style polka by Liljan Loisto, Finnish bhangra by Shaya, and prog-jazz from “prophets of fictional world music”, “half-Satanic klezmer punkers” Alamaailman Vasarat.
Balkan Fever Helsinki
Produced by Arwi Lind / Helmi Levyt & Balkan Fever Ry
Artwork by OH design
Mastered by Esa Santonen @ Liiteri
Liner notes by Arttu Tolonen