All music should have a place in the world around it, not just its country of origin. The Israeli musical group Balkan Beat Box should know this all too well after their song “Hermetico” was sampled for Jason Derulo and 2 Chainz’s 2013 summer jam “Talk Dirty.” The band’s ornate and driving world beat music has just as much—if not more—energy than their chart-topping counterparts. Balkan Beat Box recently stopped by the Paste Studio to perform the eclectic work that has brought them and their music across the globe.
Growing evermore worldly as their career continues, Balkan Beat Box have expanded farther out of their Israeli origins than ever before with their latest material. Their latest album, 2012’s Give, introduced stronger Latin, club and dub influences on their already global sound. While it could have come off as an overly ambitious trainwreck with such diverse influences, skilled musicians Balkan Beat Box successfully bridge all their cultural influences together with the ubiquitous love of fun and dancing in all cultures.
With experience everywhere from punk rock bands to classic Jewish musicianship, Balkan Beat Box never fail to keep the culture intact. But this culture is not of their homeland of Israel; the culture is of the band alone. The band’s latest single “Shout it Out” is a prime example of their singular sound, with their Balkan-style horn section blaring over feverish drums and a driving hip-hop backtrack. It is hard to find a singular beat within the music of Balkan Beat Box, and the energy makes it impossible to not want to dance to it.