It’s not breaking news that we are huge fans of this Serbian duo since we started our mission disseminating transglobal music, more than 5 years ago at Burdel Dali.
ShazaLaKazoo surprised us again with a superb album, which they cleverly named, Monobrow, as a poetic image of spatially separate cultures, united by a bridge.
We asked them more about the album:
Photo via ShakaLaKazoo
Burdel Dali : For those new to the Balkan scene, can you give us a quick flashback to how Shazalakazoo got started?
ShazalaKazoo: Hello Burdel familia, we are ShazaLaKazoo from Belgrade, Serbia! The roots of ShazaLaKazoo are quite old… We were formed in the mid 90`s as a 5-member band. In 1998 we started to produce electronic music as a duo, creating all kinds of genres, but became more Balkan-oriented somewhere in 2006.
We have seen the Balkan music projects made by non-Balkan people emerging all over Europe in mid-2000’s so we just thought like – okay, let’s present our musical heritage in the way we find more real. But after some years we were a bit bored with doing only Balkan music with electronic so we decided to merge it with other styles from the countries from Non Aligned Movement, notably from Latin America, Africa and the Middle East – so this sound was created. We call it the “Folkstep”. You call it as you wish. everything’s fine.
BD : How long a project was it to finish Monobrow? What are the highlights?
S:It took us approximately two and half years to finish it. Just because we were too laid back. It could be done in a year or so. The process is simple – we make beats, then contact the artist with whom we want to collaborate (vocalists and instrumentalists), record them (or they record themselves if they live in other countries), then we mix it all up.
I can’t remember the highlights really, as the making process was too long. Ok maybe i do – it’s the recording of excellent trumpet/trombone player Milos Nikolic – one guy that recorded the whole Gypsy brass band on some of our tracks. Incredible.
BD : Which artists were you most excited to work with?
S: We were excited about them all! We have a lot of guests in MONOBROW: Argentinians (Miss Bolivia, Fauna), Brazilians (Chernobyl, Suppa Fla, Zuzuka Poderosa), Serbian Gypsies (Roma Sijam, Romano Duruli, Sinan Acifovic), Spanish (MishMish) and of course our fellow Serbs/Bosnians/Croats (Milos Nikolic, Las Balkanieras, Miroslav Cucukovic).. Three continents, 11 nations, many styles. It’s a kind of World stew with predominant spices from the Balkan peninsula.
BD : What do you see for the future of the global Balkan music scene?
S: I don’t know about the scene, but I know about the music – it’s here to stay and develop. Actually, Balkan music was always present, it’s a live organism, it was only the question whether it’s in the spot internationally or not. As I said in “Balkan’s Not Dead” track: “It hasn’t sunk into the murky depths of Danube.. It is still here, fresher than ever…”
BD : What is the mission of Shazalakazoo?
S : The only mission i can think of is to make people dance, regardless of their ethnic/racial background. We do music for dance, no subliminal messages, no messages at all. Just dance. It’s simple and effective. There’s too much trouble around us anyway so why should we think about it when we go to the club/festival?
BD : And of course, we want to know if you have plans to visit New York sometime soon!
S : We’d like to do it as soon as possible. But no plans so far on the horizon. As always – there’s problem with US visas, expensive flight tickets, etc, etc. But sooner or later – we will come. We have to.
Special thanks to ShazaLaKazoo.
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