"Csókolom is pronounced something like 'shock column', and is originally an old fashioned Hungarian greeting meaning "I kiss your hand." At the same time Csókolom are an extraordinary band based in Berlin and Amsterdam. When they were invited by German Profolk organisation to represent Germany at the Folk Alliance, they made with their Hungarian roots music at least two persons crying: on the one hand Nora Guthrie (who writes a dedication in the booklet), on the other hand Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records who directly invited them to record with his label.
The result is impressive. Anti von Kleewitz, leader of the band and both singer and violin player, has a charismatic voice. The songs are presented in a very moving way, accomponied sparsely, but at the same time very effectively by violin and double bass. The songs are in diverse languages from South-East Europe, often in Hungarian, but also in Serbo-Croatian, Romanian or in Roma, the language of the gipsies. The tunes are based on the up to three fiddles of Csókolom, with exciting arrangements between them. There is a special feeling in this music; a lot of swing and energy, with traces of Jazz and Improvisation, but always based on Hungarian and Gipsy traditions. Although the line-up of just violins/violas and double bass is surely unusual, the music has a strong appeal - you never have the feeling that other instruments are missing.
This is great stuff. If you like Eastern European or gipsy music, this one is a must! And, yes, with this recording you get nearly one and a quarter hours (!) of hugely enjoyable, high quality music!"
01 Amari Szi, Amari
02 Kalotaszegi legényes (In C Minor)
03 Medved Na Lancu
05 Feljött a nap - Romanian Dance # 4
06 Nu Face Bine - Romanian Hora (In B)
07 Szerelem - Lörincréve (In A)
08 Mori Shej, Sabina
09 Gankino Horo
11 Anii Mei
12 Dance From Gyimes
15 Kalotaszegi legényes (In F)
17 Szatmári- Csókolom -Szatmári
18 Amari Szi, Amari (Slow Version)
19 Jánoska - Szatmári
20 Lörincréve (In G)
Anti von Klewitz - violin, viola & vocal
Gregor Schäfer - double-bass
Sander Hoving - violin, viola & kontra
Anneke Frankenberg - violin