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Kultur Shock is a Seattle-based gypsy punk band which specializes in mixing music like rock, metal and punk with traditional Balkan music.
In a time when all of our dreams are drowned by the rising tide of our nefarious past repeating, the band is coming back to stages across Europe to spread music that resonates with people who lived through oppression and war, and with the generation that inherited the task of breaking down ideological borders and live successful and happy lives in peace.
All who follow Kultur Shock since their inception in 1996 in Seattle, or is familiar with their 18 years of touring and 10 records, knows that the band is in a league of its own. Frequently compared to SOAD or Gogol Bordello, the band is musically richer than both, since it unabashedly seeks influence in the wealth of Balkan folk music, as well as rock, metal, and punk in their best traditions. Or, as Darek Mazzone (WoPop, KEXP) exclaimed at their record release show in Seattle: “Kultur Shock is currently the best band in America. Period.” ‘Cause they are.
Band’s 11th record – D.R.E.A.M. is actually a result of their internal creative conflict between those in the band who wanted a full length, concept LP, and the ones who strived to respond to the social and political changes with fast and agile EP releases. So the band did both. With the release of the first EP Drama in January 2018 containing “Refugee Song” and “Mirakula Fantastika”, and consequent releases of Resilience (with “Taiyou” and “GG Likes Be Nice”), Evil (with “Haram Para” and “Superevil”) and upcoming EPs Awake! and Mental by end of February 2019, the band will complete the 8 song selection for the good old fashioned, artistically sound LP .
Gino’s current lyrics is directed outward, it is a sassy political and social commentary of the current world where lies parade as truth, and reality, facts, science, education and expertise go grossly disregarded. The band matches the message with aggressive arrangements of traditional Kultur Shock prog-metal-punkery with distinct Balkan flavor which has become a signature for the unit since its beginning. The band took a non-traditional approach to production, too. Recorded at their personal studios (jokingly referred to as the “La Toilette” in Brooklyn, New York, and Seattle, mixed by Oggi Kiossovski in Sofia, Bulgaria, and mastered by Chris Hanzsek in Seattle, the record sounds relaxed in its writing, contemporary in its sound, and doesn’t pay homage to any existing rules.
‘Cause, punk is not dead, after all, it just changes its form and shape in the hands of this dynamic sextet. Jello Biafra summarized it the best few years back: “Kultur Shock is what punk-rock should sound like.” The Man definitely knows.
Kultur Shock will be on the road in Europe in April, dedicating their appearances to club audiences almost exclusively – a medium where the band feels at its best. The road will lead them through Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia i Herzegovina, and Greece.