One of the hottest new bands to emerge from the Nation’s Capital, Black Masala,, release their self titled debut album! Pulsating Balkan rhythms blend with funky New Orleans horns, creating an original, soulful gypsy party. The vibe is infectious as the Tuba player roams the floor looking for dance partners, dancers on stage back bending to ska beats, while other bandmates are up on tables and chairs calling the crowd into the party!
The 7-track album represents Black Masala's coming out party to the world! Each member adds their own influence to the mix with vocal duties shared by Mike Ounallah and Kristen Long. The fiery horns are Matt Hotez, Kirsten Warfield, and Frank Mitchell Jr. of Thievery Corporation fame. The Tuba low end is none other than Monty Montgomery and the rhythm section is rounded out by Duff Davis on Guitar, Yannick LePage on Accordion, and Mike Ounallah on Drums.
In just over a year’s time, Black Masala have been busy hitting the road, bringing the sweaty dance party to the East Coast as well as to their home base of Washington, DC. All of these great shows are the inspiration for this album, which captures the live sound and feel of the shows.
"Feels the Same" is a ska flavored, horn-rich, upbeat song that leads into the soulful "Knockin’" featuring the funky vocals of singer Kristen Long. "One Last Drink" pops in next with pulsing Tuba and driving drums that sing of that “one last drink” that could carry you down. The vibe takes a little turn with "Bhangra V" seeing the band explore one of their instrumental compositions inspired by their love of Indian Bhangra music. The musical chairs continue with Black Masala's unique take on the famous Gypsy tune "Mesecina." The horn players shine brightly and the track ends with that sort of POP! you'd expect from 300 people getting sweaty in a small club. The somewhat meditative "Round and Around" closes out the record with a dreamy commentary leading into a complete guitar arsenal to take the listener off into another time and place. "Circus / Jeni Jol” follows as a bonus track of yet another original instrumental composition showing the band's effortless fusion of Punk, Gypsy, and Balkan music.
"Reflecting its members diverse musical backgrounds, the unholy love child that is Black Masala is at times equally raw, funky, and sensual as well as menacing and mournful. Whether you get your kicks from tearing it up at the club or throwing it down in the pit, the band refuses to disappoint."
For Fans of: Balkan Beat Box, Beats Antique, Gogol Bordello, Leningrad, Slavic Soul Party, DeVotchKa, Beirut, Red Baraat, and Luminescent Orchestrii
Black Masala is an eclectic eight-piece group of Washington, DC based musicians from a diverse variety of musical traditions
and backgrounds. The band’s music features a colorful mix of sounds that draw inspiration from the melodies of Eastern European brass bands, New Orleans jazz, Balkan grooves, Ambient/Experimental indie rock riffs, and even a hint of Appalachian twang. Expect a party!