Hungarian Gypsy Music
(ARC, 2006)

Ternipe puts together an impressive and moving collection of Romani music, pulling from traditional Hungarian musical trends and well-loved gypsy tales to create an album that is seamless in its delivery. String-heavy and resplendent with minor keys, Hungarian Gypsy Music is a visceral romp in gypsy culture through the lens of their music that will not be regretted. The vocals are stunning and well-blended. The music tugs at the heartstrings and sings of hope and heartbreak as, indeed, gypsy music should do. Hungarian Gypsy Music is ideal for casual listening as well as a more dynamic relationship with the music through dance or storytelling, and its versatility is one of its strongest attributes.

Stand-out tracks include track two, "Lina," a tragic musical romp through the story of a love gone bad, in keeping with the general theme of Romani music. "Sas Man Dola," track four, contains some beautiful harmonies and vocal blending, along with intricate playing. Number eight, "Bilako Na Zhuvao," is notable for its intense and fast-paced vocals and driving rhythm. The love story comes across through the rollicking bass and without any need to understand the Roma tongue. Finally, track 15, "Ale Manca," is fast, riveting and filled with rich accordion tracks to complement the overlaying vocals. It presents a sense of escape, as though the singer is fleeing from something ... and indeed, the translation of the song describes a situation in which two lovers are running away together.

Gypsy music tells stories as much through the music and rhythm as through the lyrics, and Ternipe delivers these tales with a poignancy that strikes straight to the soul. The entire album puts one in a mind to sit around a fire playing music and dancing with abandon. In my opinion, that is precisely what gypsy music is supposed to do. Ternipe's goal of making gypsy music more accessible and appealing to the masses so that it may be better understood is refreshing, admirable and, most importantly, effective.

music review by
Emily O'Neil

9 February 2013

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new