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Oi Va Voi - Oi Va Voi

Oi Va Voi

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

OI VA Voi delivered one of the best kept secrets of 2003 with their debut album Laughter Through Tears, a mix of influences that ranged from the deeply chilled to the more Jewish!

Four years on, and many difficulties en route, they return with this eponymous offering – a similarly eclectic mix of tracks that tread on everything from klezmer, ambient and rock to electronica and Bugarian influences.

A taster of what to expect is delivered from very first track Yuri, an utterly bananas – yet somehow infectious – concoction of trumpets, clarinet, and Eastern European influence. The lyrics, too, are similarly off the wall, referencing journeys to outer space and beyond. You can imagine it being played uproariously at a Hungarian wedding knees-up, or something of the sort!

Such manic moments are competently offset by more serene, downbeat moments like Further-Deeper, featuring the hauntingly fragile vocals of Bridgette Amofah, and some genuinely rousing orchestration.

Further highlights come in the form of Look Down, with its mix of ambient electronica and jazzy sax, Dissident, featuring haunting guest vocals from Hungarian singer Agi Szaloki that give it a cinematic, world music feel, and Black Sheep, a sublime piece of chillout that’s sure to generate Morcheeba comparisons (albeit with more European influences).

Come the spoken-word final track Spirit of Bulgaria, you’ll feel like you’ve been taken on a musical journey that exhilarates, relaxes and occasionally frustrates. Oi Va Voi can’t quite match the success of Laughter Through Tears but given the volatile nature of the past four years, it’s good to have this London-based outfit back at all.

Anyone who likes their music not to conform and to exist with a spirit of adventure is advised to check in.

Download picks: Further Deeper, Dissident, Black Sheep, Look Down, Dry Your Eyes

Track listing:

  1. Yuri
  2. Further Deeper
  3. Look Down
  4. Dissident
  5. Balkanik
  6. Black Sheep
  7. Nosim
  8. Dry Your Eyes
  9. Worry Lines
  10. Spirit Of Bulgaria