Horska: Gypsophilia mixes ska and klezmer

I'm very fond of Gypsophilia's brand of klezmer-infused jazz, and so I'm very excited to learn that they've got a new release. Ross from Gypsophilia sez:

"Horska" is our newest release and is many things: a 7" vinyl single with a dub remix, a 6 song digital EP, and a brand new stop motion animation music video.

We recorded the tracks for “Horska” at Montreal’s Hotel2Tango with noted producer Howard Bilerman (of Arcade Fire fame). The single, composed by guitarist Alec Frith, plays with superimposing a Jewish hora over a ska riddim – hence the title. The 7" includes a dub reggae-style remix as a b-side. The other tracks on the EP range from the nostalgic-sounding “Bir Hakeim” and “Stikm,” which showcase Matt Myer on (mostly muted) horn, to the at-times frenzied Klezmer-influenced piece “Corentin Cariou” and the melancholy “Oh my Oma,” featuring Gina Burgess’ plaintive violin.

As a partner to the song a stop-motion animation was created by Halifax artist Sydney Smith and filmmaker Jason Levangie in the style of their beautiful 2011 video "Agricola & Sarah". This time around Gypsophilia's music is set to a vignette about a bumbling inventor (a likeness of our bass player Adam Fine) trying to get his mechanical flying machine off the ground.

The Gypsophilias have made the dub remix available as a free download for Boing Boing readers for a limited time


  1. Lede heaaavily buried here, in my opinion. The headline should have been: Most Oscar-worthy Animated Short You’ve Seen in a While also Has a Pretty Darn Good Soundtrack. 

  2. It’s so counter-intuitive to entertain the notion of Gypsy/Roma music co-existing with Klezmer. The two are not generally associated. In true Gypsy music (excluding Flamenco & Django’s cool jazz), the trumpet or brass band is often the centerpiece. Not the Clarinet and it’s woodwind sound. I’m more comfortable with the Mexican Sonora Balkanaria fusion of Gypsy tunes with traditional Mexican brass than the notion of a Klezmer/Gypsy mix. 

  3. Don’t know about intuitions, counter or otherwise, but what I’ve read about the klezmer says that its European roots include strong connections with Roma music–partly thanks to the fact that both Jews and Roma were outsiders in the majority cultures in which they were embedded. For example, Henry Sapozinik (in Klezmer!, p. 6) writes that this was the “richest interaction” in klezmer’s various connections with non-Jewish traditions. Instruments featured in both traditions also cross back and forth: hammered dulcimer (tsimbl, fiddle, clarinet, various brass), and Sapoznik points out that service in 19th-century czarist military bands helped introduce brass into previously string-dominated klezmer ensembles.

    And just a niggle: Django’s band was the Quintette of the HOT Club of France and dedicated to playing le jazz hot.

  4. By the way, anyone who enjoys Gypsophilia might also check out two other international-mashup bands: 3 Leg Torso and Fishtank Ensemble.

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