Robert Soko: It was Tokyo, November 2015, and the crowd was going mad like only the Japanese knew how. People from Japan – those who were coming to our parties in Europe – I had found very lively and very grateful. They loved Balkan music, though you had the sense they didn’t quite know what it was all about. They ...

Robert Soko: So, Chiku, our goal is to interview you about your affinity for Balkan music, and then the Balkan scene in Japan in order to get some weird details out of this world. Chiku Yutaka:  Yes, yes, yes. Robert Soko: The first question – quite a predictable one – how did you stumble upon Balkan music? Chiku Yutaka: I used to DJ punk ...

Much has been made of the similarities between Balkan Beats and punk rock. There are, admittedly, a few parallels. Serbian kafana behavior, whereby drunken bećari (revelers on a spree) smash glasses, furniture and sometimes other people, is in some sense essentially punk in attitude. And there is a certain live-for-the-moment outlook in much Balkan Gypsy music that also parallels the ...

Robert Soko: Here we have water and wine. Gypsy Box: Water is important. Water brings life. Robert Soko: Abel, for the record, can you just tell me a few short words about yourself – who you are, where you come from. Gypsy Box: My name is Abel Reyes. As an artist I’m called Gypsy Box. I come from Mexico City. I was raised ...

Not a whole heck of a lot has changed here at Kottbusser Tor – or Kotti, as it is affectionately called by Berliners - over the past twenty years. People have come and gone, some new places have opened up and some old places have closed. But Kotti remains to this day, the secret heart of west Berlin (like Alexander Platz remains ...

Robert Soko: We are about to compose a book in the next year or two. Something similar to “Please Kill Me”. Robert Rigney: The Balkan version. Robert Soko: Yes, the Balkan version. Let’s say thirty years of Balkan mayhem.  Billy Gould: Cool. Robert Soko: And we are trying to get in touch with everyone who has something to say, on a bigger scale and ...