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.

The word is subtlety here; a subtle jazz atmospheres permeate, contrasting with odd time signatures, brief all-out free-for-alls and a  sort of tongue in cheek Spagetti Western schtik going on, courtesy of melodramatic surf guitars, crashing drums. It’s a kind of inside joke that runs through other Israeli acts like Boom Pam (maybe someone can explain it to me). At any rate, it’s reflected as well, in the rather curious cover art,  which features four enigmatic horsemen (the four band members) riding off through a sage-brush desert landscape into the sunset, and yet instead of the sun, the head of an Arab boy with a tear in his eye – an ironical kitsch touch.

The album climaxes with “Gina”, featuring stripped down bass, interwoven with twangy, blues guitar work. Blurting, low-pitched  sax paves the way for a brief guitar freakout, subsumed again by sax figures, driven Boom Pam-style drums, leaving off in the middle of nowhere. Nothing quite matches it.