Somewhere in the noughties So I was on Potsdamer Straße after boxing, sitting in a Moroccan shisha bar, smoking a water pipe and drinking a Turkish tea with a shot of lemon. Turks, Arabs, Germans, Africans walked by dragging their kids in tow. I had been sitting here for a couple of weeks now after boxing and I was gradually beginning to  see the same faces – locals ...

Mostar Sevdah Reunion are a Bosnian institution. Emerging out of the ruins of war-torn Bosnia in 1998, tending the traditions of Bosnian (Muslim) sevdalinkes, they have been described as a kind of Bosnian Buena Vista Social Club – having played with the legendary likes of Šaban Bajramović and Esma Redžepova. Their line-up has changed continuously over the years, but their ...

Robert Pešut  is Magnifico, a 42 year-old singer from Ljubljana, who is called in Slovenia somewhat quizzically  “the Slovene Madonna”. He is also known as a self-styled čefur, a term which wannabe Western Slovenes use to denigrate the backward Serbians, Bosnians, Gypsies and other Balkan types in the country. However, most people who go to Balkan parties in Berlin know Magnifico from his ...

Are you originally from West Berlin? No, I’m from the west of Germany close to the French border. My ancestors came from the east as my name says. According to family propaganda the number one Borkowsky was an officer of the allied army against Napoleon, made it up the Rhein valley where they had to go to the winter camp ...

Now that the Balkan Beats hyperbole appears to be out of fashion, erstwhile pioneers of the genre Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat of Balkan Beat Box - teaming up with Uri Kinrot from Boom Pam and Itamar Ziegler from The Backyard – have turned the gaze southward, westward and onward for fresh impulses, fusing Ethiojazz, Afrobeat and Afro Cuban with a Middle East touch. ...

All is quiet on the Balkan front. One exception from the region is this jazzy new release from Balkan stalwarts Kottarashky & The Rain Dogs, with ten new tracks by turns, moody, bluesy and introspective - alongside some ranting, rollicking passages to boot. It is no coincidence that on top of being a musician, Nikola Gruev is a trained architect. ...