Music » Livewire

Slavic Soul Party

Friday, May 18, at the Happy Dog, Ohio City.

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Kick up your heels, and dance a whirligig, as if Michael Flatley quantum leaped to turn-of-the-century Serbia. Slavic Soul Party is partially inspired by Balkan brass, a style of music with origins in the military brass bands of the Ottoman Empire. Like 19th-century Gypsies hip to downtown jazz, this gallivanting nine-piece doesn't need electricity to bring the noise.

SSP's traditional sounds at times recall Gogol Bordello, but the group is also seasoned with a variety of influences, including salsa, polka, and hip-hop. Playing an instrument called the bubanj -- essentially a handyman's three-in-one mobile bass drum, snare, and cymbal -- Matt Moran leads this horn-and-tuba-driven act through infectiously bouncy grooves that you couldn't shake loose, even if your booty was twice as large as JLo's.

Its second album, Teknochek Collision, is highlighted by an explosive version of "Never Gonna Let You Go" that sounds like Mothership Connection chasing Sérgio Mendes through a joyously overheated action flick like To Live and Die in L.A.

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