Boris Kovac & La Campanella,
World After History:
A Pannonian-Mediterranean Round-Trip

(Piranha, 2005)

Boris Kovac is a composer, instrumentalist and multimedia artist from Vojvodina, a place in the Pannonian part of former Yugoslavia. La Campanella is one of the two projects he's working with right now. The other is the LaDaABa Orchestra (La Danza Apocalypsa Balcanica).

His CD World after History has been released with the subtitle "A Pannonian-Mediterranean Round-Trip," and one track is called "To entertain you." And that's the secret of this album -- dance music from different parts of the world like waltzes or beguine brought forward by excellent musicians in a mix of styles. Influences from jazz go along with typical traditional instruments from the Balkans and passionate rhythms from Latin America.

Kovac plays the saxophones and makes the announcements. He's accompanied by Goran Penic on accordion, Vukasin Miskovic on classical guitar, Milos Matic on double bass and tamburitza, and Istvan Cik on drums and percussion. Special guests are Bogdan Rankovic on bass clarinet and the String Quartett Tajj.

La Campanella's playing together is excellent, and when you listen to the music you seem to forget about the world around you. Nothing seems to matter; you just want to let them entertain you.

The CD starts with "An Intro Trip" that leads you directly into Kovac's world with classical guitar and saxophone playing a dreamily tune. As soon as the accordion, bass and drums join in, the curtain has opened and the band is in the spotlight. I equally appreciate their rhythmic dance tunes like "Beguine Again" and the melancholic airs such as "Triesta." The accordion, guitar and saxophones, as well as the bass clarinet and strings, play the most beautiful melodies, and bass and drums give the rhythmical structure of dance music.

The CD is a collection of 11 instrumental tracks full of the musical soul of Eastern European musicians that have left their homes to widen their horizon. Today they're back to their homelands and play their music in the middle of their Pannonian lands. Kovac says: "I build the house by dwelling in it -- I tread my way by travelling -- I create the being by living."

by Adolf Goriup
6 May 2006

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