Besh o droM,
Can't Make Me!

(Asphalt Tango, 2003)

Besh o droM takes traditional melodies and shifts them slightly to create most of the tracks on Can't Make Me! (Nekemtenemmutogatol!). They list where the various melodies come from on the back of the CD. For the most part the shifting and altering creates music to dance to.

Besh o droM is Pettik Adam (derbuka, water can, percussion and lead vocals), Barcza Gergo (alto saxophone, ney and vocals), Sidoo Attila (guitar and vocals), Csurkulya Jozsef (cimbalom and vocals), Toth Peter (trumpet and vocals), Bekeski Laszlo (tenor saxophone, clarinet and vocals) and Zsoldos Tamas (bass guitar). On this CD they are joined by Juhasz Miczura Monika "Mitsou" (lead voice and oral bass), Orcyz Geza (tapan and buzuki), DJ Mango (rap and scratch) and Busa (oral scratch).

They start at full speed with "Nekemtenemmutogatol Oro," as they whirl between a few different melodies during the piece. They slow down for "Neyem, Neyem..." and there is a precision to the music that brings out the dance. "Csango Menyhart" is a fun piece that would fit any slapstick chase.

The vocals in "Engem Anyam Megatkozott (My Mother Cursed Me)" have a nasal edge to them that takes a moment to get used to, and then it fits right in with the music. "Introduction" is an instrumental introduction to the group that flows right into "Cigansko Oro," with its mixture of old and new styles of music. "Afghan" is enticing, the notes sliding around you; foreign, unknown and intoxicating.

They start off with some jazz in "Csujogato (Yell)," then add some rap into the mix and somehow it all works. "Pergeto (Scat Song)" seems to contain a bit of all the previous songs plus some others and it is a blast. There is a strong bluegrass flavour to "Koczkae," the shortest piece on the CD. They introduce you to the melodies first in "Kanna Solo" and then they twist them ever so slightly as they repeat them.

"Igenyes Iegenyes (Man's Dance)" has an irreverent edge to it; somehow you know they are messing around with the melodies even if you can't quite tell how. They throw in some sound effects for "Manocsavo," and close the piece off on one. The last song, "Szeles Vilag (Big Wide World)" has the feel of a parting song.

Besh o droM take traditional melodies and then go off in new directions. At times there is a strong sense that the melodies on Can't Make Me! are traditionally played very differently. The music they create stays with you -- it is fun, and it is wonderful. Listen, no dance to it, interact with it and enjoy.

- Rambles
written by Paul de Bruijn
published 27 December 2003

Buy it from