With the frantic melodies of Balkan Roma music flying over their heads and the insistent electronic buzz of techno under their feet, Besh o droM are more than the “futuristic Balkan wedding band” they have sometimes tongue-in-cheekily touted themselves as. Mixing turntablism and electric saxophone with traditional instruments such as the cimbalom (hammered dulcimer), and lacing traditional melodies with funk basslines and bebop improvisation, they impart a melting-pot approach to dancefloor mayhem.
Led by percussionist and singer Ádám Pettik (whose primary instrument is the Gypsy Water Can — seriously), the band was formed in 1999 and quickly became stars of Eastern Europe’s world-music scene with their high-energy fusion of cross-cultural influences and styles. They cite Transylvanian, Jewish, Afghan, Egyptian, Lebanese, Armenian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Greek music as their primary inspirations (although Indian, B-movie, and punk rock influences poke their heads up as well).
Besh o droM's effervescent and irrepressible sounds and their ever-apparent joy in their craft has transported audiences of all kinds in venues the world over. Besh o droM means “ride the road,” (or, roughly, “go your own way”) and that is just what these Balkan soundmeisters do, leaving an echo of fierce, idiosyncratic exuberance behind them.