Žali Zare

30/04/21Video Premiere: Balkan Taksim Unveil Spellbinding Fourth Single Off Forthcoming Debut Album On Buda Musique

Look up in the sky, is it a bird, is it a plane? Balkan Taksim are prepared for liftoff. The Romanian duo just released single number four off its forthcoming, long-awaited debut album and is now set to premiere the accompanying official music video via yours truly. Blending electronic psychedelia with regional traditions, multi-instrumentalist Sașa-Liviu Stoianovici and producer Alin Zăbrăuțeanu are currently pushing the boundaries of contemporary Balkan music. 

If anything, their first three single releases were a sign of what's to come. "Zalina", "Anadolka" and "Lunca" all featured stunning companion visuals and were quick to gather wide acclaim. The Bucharest-based two-piece has clearly dug deep into into its own musical heritage and unearthed a wide array of rhythms, styles and stories, as it combines powerful production, mesmerising musicality and impressive artwork to cinematic effect. Leave it to us to present you with video number four, which you can watch below.

"Žali Zare" is Balkan Taksim's take on a popular song from Southern Serbia: In it, a young man prepares to leave his loved one behind, in order to join the armed resistance. His words are an invitation to mourn his departure, as he goes far away to fight and death lies waiting around the corner. ”The song awakened a strong feeling of longing and sadness in me," says director Andra Hera. "I was interested in expressing the unavoidable tragedy that the young narrator faces, when he decides to go to war and leave his loved one behind.”

It is a sad tale that Andra Hera (who also directed the clips to "Anadolka" and "Lunca") brings to life in wondrously enigmatic images, launching us into orbit and straight into the absurdity of war. A strange phenomena appears on the horizon. Military personnel and civil authorities rush to observe the skies and determine the threat. As the object approaches, it becomes apparent that the danger is real. Fear spreads and emergency calls are made, but destruction seems imminent. 

The ominous yet skilfully composed video is soundtracked by the equally beautiful, electronically-enhanced instrumentation of Balkan Taksim. Stoianovici lends his yearning voice to the traditional song, plucking his Bosnian šargija and adding synths to the mix, while Zăbrăuțeanu contributes his own samples to the scintillating arrangements. Like a snake charmer, "Žali Zare" is quick to draw us in and cast its musical spell, keeping us glued to the screen with ears pricked up. Pair that with Alex Gopher on mastering duties and it is bound to resonate. 

Balkan Taksim's debut album "Disko Telegraf" is set to release on May 28th via Paris-based label Buda Musique.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom