Album: Various Artists, Rough Guide to the Music of Hungarian Gypsies (World Music Network)

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The Independent Culture

The best track on this LP is a surprise: Fanfare Ciocarlia is quintessentially Romanian, the pretext for their inclusion being the Hungarian Gypsy singer Mitsou as guest soloist.

But this is still a pleasant compilation, opening with a sunny track by Romano Drom, and moving on to Parno Graszt, who augment their basic armoury with spoons and water cans. We get a historic "verbunkos" ("recruit") song – a form which began with a slow dance followed by a faster one to lure men into the delights of army life, and also some wonderfully angular harmonies from Amaro Suno, who trawl the villages for songs.

Pick of the Album: 'Odi Phenel Cino Savo' for honest down-home roughness