Jaro Milko & The Cubalkanics' 'Cigarros Explosivos!' album review

By Raquel Luster,
Author Rating: 
4.0 Stars - Very Good

The musical group Jaro Milko & The Cubalkanics created an album where Latin, Jazz and world music all meet. Their genre of Balkan Cumbia is a North meets South thing, where Balkan European music and Cumbia or Colombian music intertwine to create an infusion of magic. JM & TC push the envelope of creativity and produced an album that is unique.

Guitarist Jaro Milko created this five-member group in 2010 with musicians from Switerzland. Their specialties include Reggae, Latin and Jazz music. The band includes: Milko on guitar and vocals; Luke Briggen playing trombone; Ines Brodeck on percussion and backing vocals; Eric Gut performing drums and backing vocals; and Eric Gilson playing organ. Milko has played with a number of artists around the world and continues to experiment with different and unique musical styles.

The album Cigarros Explosivos! was released in April 2014. Let the summer begin. It is truly a blend of sounds. Each song offers something different. The progression is very interesting to experience.

The album starts out strong and ends strong, with soft instrumental tunes and ballads in the middle to mix it up. There are elements of both Gypsy and Rock music that combine with familiar and unique sounds. It can fit many settings whether you desire a beach-like or mellow atmosphere or a party feeling, the album contains it all. Having heard one song is simply that, there is variety within this album.

My favorite track is “Cumbia Griega.” It’s the first song on the album and it draws you in to the adventure that is Cigarros Explosivos!. This instrumental piece is both calming and exciting, with the mixture of instruments that Jaro Milko & The Cubalkanics’ do so well. The guitar really guides the song and the ending is pleasant. It’s a great appetizer that leads to the many different facets of the rest of the meal.

The song “El Topo” is a close second because it shows the jam-band feel of the group and the upbeat nature of the song is intriguing.

Within Cigarros Explosivos!, there is a song for every aspect of the summer. There are mellow tunes that would accompany any summer stroll, party sounds that will add to the vibe and instrumentals that could awaken any nighttime escapade. From track one to 13, there is a buffet of sounds that include light vocals and solid rhythms.

Jaro Milko & The Cubalkanics’ constructed a pleasant and energetic album that is full of passion.

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