with Lucky Chops
Ive come full circle and Im comfortable being a total outsider, says Gogol Bordellos Eugene Hutz, explaining the philosophy behind the bands new album, Pura Vida Conspiracy. Like everything theyve ever done, this outing is an uncategorizable blend of international influences, anchored by the gypsy rhythms Hutz grew up with in Ukraine. Most people are looking for a box to put stuff in, he says. I try to avoid it. The message of this record is the quest for self-knowledge beyond borders and nationalities. Every culture is a useful mask, but it is just a mask. To get to know your actual human self, you have to get behind all the masks. With all the time Ive spent in Latin America, living and loving, I realized Ill never be Argentinean or Brazilian, just like Ill never be Ukrainian. If you have true human spirit, you cant fit into any genre, nationality or culture. To be a true citizen of the world, you can only be an ultimate outsider.Hutz chose Pura Vida Conspiracy as the title because it represents everything the band has been moving toward since they first formed over a decade ago. Were not a whimsical band with a whimsical message and some languages offer things that others don't. As I made my way through Spanish, the phrase pura vida - pure life - struck me. In Spanish, pura vida has the gusto that true life should have, as opposed to words in English, French or Russian. It sums up my need of joining fragmented parts and pieces to create a worldwide consciousness. Its what weve had in mind since the first song on the first Gogol Bordello album. The band did pre-production on 30 songs at studios in Mexico, Paraguay and Burlington, VT narrowing it down to the most compelling tunes for the album. The arrangements were done on the fly, with the musicians contributing ideas from their own areas of expertise. Our sound comes from being a group of polyamorous musicians. The style comes from musicians born and raised in various elements, like (bass player) Thomas Gobenas Ethiopian meters and (Russian violinist) Sergey Ryabtsev and (folkloric Russian accordion player) Yuri Lemeshevs palette of colors. Everyone does their own thing to keep the train moving. Andrew Scheps, who was the recording engineer on 2010s Trans-Continental Hustle, the bands last album, stepped into the producers chair and helped them capture the feel of their vibrant live performances. Andrew is a saint, Hutz says. From the first time we met, I felt like he was part of our family. He was keenly aware of our musical evolution and encouraged us to encapsulate the passion and experimental energy weve accumulated in the last few years of intense world travel.The Way You Name Your Ship, suggests a rocking boat, with a subtle funk backbeat and a swaying off center rhythm. Ryabtsevs violin, the fuzz heavy guitar accents of new guitarist Michael Ward and the bands rousing vocals add to the feel of a pirate vessel on a rampage. The song is about the power of the word and its intent, Hutz explains. Naming your ship determines where you go and how you get there. Gogol adds primal rock guitar to the bold stomping rhythm of We Rise Again, one of the albums most anthemic tracks. Percussionist Pedro Erazo-Segovia drops a Spanish rap into the maelstrom of Ryabtsevs violin, Wards power chords and Hutzs furious vocal. This is the albums definitive song. The Russian poet Yevtushenko first said that political borders are scars on the face of the planet. Like us, he thought of himself as a citizen of the world.Italian flavored mandolin, a reggae pulse and scorching Russian violin drive Dig Deep Enough, a song that veers between blistering punk and a laid back one drop rhythm. Hutz sets its inspirational message to a classical melody. Powerful melodies in classical music are often taken from folklore, Hutz says. Were borrowing it back, with an added bit of Ennio Morricone. Gogol brings a taste of country music to the Latinized Ukrainian rhythm of Lost Innocent World, with the vigorous drumming of Oliver Charles. Gogol shows its omnivorous mastery of music on I Just Realized, a contemplative love song that suggests a Russian samba and features Elizabeth Suns sultry backing vocals; John The Conqueror a blend of spaghetti western twang and punk; and Malandrino, a Neapolitan style tune that dips into Tex Mex, mariachi and reggae. The bands long time goal of creating a global style of music is fully realized with the heartfelt tunes on Pura Vida Conspiracy.What makes Pura Vida Conspiracy so strong is that, unlike other records weve done that are also musically polyamorous, this one combines our adventurous spirit with a stronger rock anchor, Hutz says. People ask how I had the confidence to attempt this task and I tell them it was not confidence. I had a feeling I needed to do it, but no idea if it would work out. When we scream on stage its to acknowledge all cultures are beautiful masks, but they only take you so far - to a nice carnival or masquerade. True human spirit is beyond culture, thats why my main interest is in human potential. Music is a way to explore that and you can see how it links up with the idea of pura vida. Pura vida is pure life, conspiracy is word play on the fact that most of the people in the world are so focused on everything going wrong that they fail to see the 50% thats going right. Gogol Bordellos music gives me confidence to say that. Its music that goes into the depth of now and opens the consciousness to another dimension thats usually hidden from people. This accumulation of playing for thousands of hours in Gogol Bordello has connected me to the energetic self, the true human spirit. When you preserve this feeling and transfer it into real life, it becomes a huge part of you.Hutz founded Gogol Bordello in New York City in 1999, after leaving Ukraine in the aftermath of Chernobyl. In keeping with his vision of creating an international groove, he recruited musicians of all ages, races and cultures, including bassist Thomas Gobena, from Ethiopia, Russian violinist Sergey Ryabtsev from Moscow and percussionist Pedro Erazo-Segovia from Ecuador.The bands endless touring and critically acclaimed shows have made them international headliners. These days Hutz divides his time between New York and Rio de Janeiro, but a recent stay in Ukraine also influenced the songs he wrote for Pura Vida Conspiracy. When I stayed in Kiev for months, people thought it was my victory lap back home. When I told them I was leaving, they were disappointed that I didnt want to be the rock guy on Ukraine TV. Spending time in a Zen monastery and that trip back home made me certain of my mission as an ultimate outsider.
$29.00 - $33.00
Pioneers and legends of Gypsy punk, Gogol Bordello, have turned the world of music on its head with cabaret-style theatrics on tour dates and songs that will have even the stuffiest of people tapping their toes. Since 1999, Gogol Bordello's Eastern European-infused sound has inspired a cabaret revival that has influenced bands like DeVotchKa and Balkan Beat Box. Gogol Bordello's loyal band of international followers are ecstatic over the band's many tour dates in 2011, which continue into late summer.
While Gogol Bordello was formed in New York, the band's leader, Eugene Hütz, grew up in Kiev, Ukraine and was greatly influenced by classical Hungarian and Ukrainian composers and writers, as well as traditional Gypsy music from Romania. The band's first performance was at the private NYC club called Pizdetz, where Gogol Bordello soon become the house band. As back then, their tour dates are always full of energy and often include fantastic theatrics that fans have come to expect. 1999's Voi-La Intruder went largely unnoticed, but Gogol Bordello crept into the public eye with their 2005 album, Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike, which featured the band's first single, "Start Wearing Purple." Numerous music festival performances followed, including a widely publicized performance by Hütz and violinist Sergey Ryabtsev with Madonna at London Live Earth.
Gogol Bordello received even more popularity after the release of Super Taranta! in 2007, which featured an even more energetic sound on tracks like "Wonderlust King", which was used in a number of commercials and TV shows. 2010's Trans-Continental Hustle was produced by Rick Rubin and showcases a further evolved sound that has become a hit with audiences and many critics. Gogol Bordello is currently performing 2011 tour dates across Europe and the UK, before their schedule ends in the US on September 4 at the North Coast Music Festival. With only a few shows left, fans should buy their tickets soon to avoid missing these stellar 2011 tour dates.