Thursday, May 30, 2013
Stand Up, People: Gypsy Pop Songs from Tito's Yugoslavia 1964-1980 (Vlax Records)
The Yugoslavian Communist regime of Marshal Tito can be faulted for many things, but according to the jacket notes of Stand Up, People, Tito deserves credit for tolerance and support for his country's much-persecuted Gypsies. The policy of promoting Gypsy culture facilitated the recording of the '60s and '70s era tracks collected here. The Gypsies originated in India and through their wandering way of life became a transmitter of musical traditions—part of the circuit linking music across Eastern Europe and the Near East. Many selections come close to klezmer or the Greek blues called rembetika, some would not be out of place on a Bollywood movie soundtrack and others could almost pass as psychedelic pop B-sides.