As the dance music scene continues to contract many DJs are moving into the world music arena, looking for fresh sounds to take to the dancefloor. DJ Shantel - Germany's Stefan Hantel - is one such example.
Shantel cut his DJing teeth in Germany's techno scene but, noting how Gypsy brass orchestras Fanfare Ciocarlia and Boban Markovic could turn an audience into a wild, heaving mass, he believed that with a little electronic tweaking he could blend Balkan Gypsy tunes into his DJ set.
Calling his Frankfurt DJ nights Bucovina Club, he attracted an audience well up for raving to heaving tubas and scalding trumpets. Some of the tunes were so naturally funky Shantel didn't need to add anything. Others he remixed, adding electronic beats and layering the horns on top.Word got around about his Bucovina Club nights and the remix album of the same name Shantel issued on his Essay label.
It’s impossible to ignore the soaring resurgence of Balkan music. Only a
dwindling few could turn their backs on a movement which has persuaded European
DJs - a breed famed for their unshakable faith in the synthesiser and the mullet
- to swap their techno vinyls for fresh, gypsy-influenced
Germany’s DJ Shantel is perhaps the most well-known of the Balkan converts. In interviews, Shantel, a former fixture of Germany’s techno scene, details his musical change of heart with a candidness normally reserved for support group meetings.
Merging the anarchic energy of gypsy music with the reliable pulse of techno, Shantel’s Bucovina Club project was a notable success, storming Europe’s dancefloors and scooping the ‘Club Global’ award at last year’s BBC Awards For World Music. Have fun!!