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DOSSIER May 2002
by Mono Lo


Cheb Balowski
Cheb Balowski



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The drop-out patchanga of the Mediterranean.

After many years of giving concerts trough Catalonia, the collective of Cheb Balowski decided to release their first album Bartzeloona in September 2001, supported by Iñigo Muguruza.

Sure, it was not an easy task to put so many party and pachanga in a release of 60 minutes! And it's really not simple to define this group of friends, united since their childhood in the Barcelonan Raval, the most cosmopolitan quarter of the Catalan capital, where their discovered that there drug is the scene.

They are coming from the Raval, this band of 11 musicians playing violin, sax, trumpet, piano, drums, all kinds of percussion, bringing us a musical Mediterranean plate of flavours, spices, colours and fragrances.
It's not a Raï-band, neither a rock-band, neither a copy of the Mano Negra, it's not resembling Sergent Garcia, but they have a little of it all!
Certainly there are important Arab influences on the disc, a huge variation of sounds and languages (Arab, Catalan, French, Spanish), but it's still hard to tell what their reel influences are.
Sometimes you just feel like loosing yourself in a territory of an Emir Kustorica movie when out of the blue they bewitch you with Algerian rhythms and Isa dances.

Most of the musicians are friends since primary school and know Barcelona since their childhood, so no wonder that their baptised their first album 'Bartzeloona'. While the acoustic resemblance of the word is there, seems like they invented it, it's really meaning something in euskera. Bartzeloona means in Basque: "that I sleep well today, that I am feeling fine".

The album is an explosion of optimism and happiness. But it is not the only message of the group. Cheb Balowski certainly could be the name of the singer and the leader of this collective, Catalan with Algerian roots, but his name is Yacine Belahcene Belet. In fact the name Cheb is given to stars of Raï.
Balowski is the family name of the main actor of the soap "the young ones", telling events in a crazy hood in London in the eighties. Balowski is the owner of a bar where all the poor people of the city meet.
In polish, Balowski comes from the verb balovar, witch means, having a good time while dancing. Indeed, it's all about party!
The musicians are really exploding on scene, so do the public, just ask the 3000 people who are still jumping like crazy on the rhythms of the band since the Fiesta de la Diversidad 2001 and 2002.

It would be interesting to know if they released their album with the purpose to sort out a period of the group and further develop their sound, or did they realise it just with the idea of continuating their concerts in smaller places? In any cases, for me its one of the best Spanish bands on scene, maybe just Radio Bemba can do better.

The energy of Yacine, the Arab dances of Isa Vinardell, the power of the bronze (sax, trumpet, trombone), the Balkan violin trance and the appearances of percussions, unbelievable, there are so many of them, gives an unique touch at this collective, really astonishing!

Records [up]
Bartzeloona   Bartzeloona
   2001 Propaganda Pel Fet - Album
   buy it at iTunes

Potiner   Potiner
   2003 Propaganda Pel Fet - Album
   buy it at iTunes
Plou Plom   Plou Plom
   2005 Kasba Music - Album
   buy it at iTunes

Main contributions [up]
Cultura de Resistencia I   Cultura de Resistencia I
   2002 Arran - Double Compilation

Barcelona Zona Bastarda   Barcelona Zona Bastarda
   2002 Organic Records - Double Compilation
Per Palestina   Per Palestina
   2003 - Compilation
Barcelona Raval Session   Barcelona Raval Session
   2004 K Industria - Double Compilation
Made in Barna   La Kinky Beat: Made in Barna
   2004 Kasba Music - Album
   buy it at iTunes
Barcelona Raval Sessions 2   Barcelona Raval Sessions 2
   2005 K Industria - Double Compilation
Alerta Bihotza   Che Sudaka: Alerta Bihotza
   2005 K Industria - Album
   buy it at iTunes
Proyecto de desobediencia informativa La Haine   Proyecto de desobediencia informativa La Haine
   2005 - Compilation
RadioChango Añejo Reserva vol.I   RadioChango Añejo Reserva vol.I
   2005 RadioChango - Compilation
Mundo Mestizo 2   Mundo Mestizo 2
   2007 - Compilation
Mic Cité   Mic Cité
   2007 - Compilation
   buy it at iTunes
Visca la Vida (10 anys Hace Color)   Visca la Vida (10 anys Hace Color)
   2008 - Compilation
Lucha Amada - Musika Rebelde   Lucha Amada - Musika Rebelde
   2011 - Double Compilation

News [up]
  14.10.2011: Recopilatorio Lucha Amada - Musica Rebelde (Castellano)
  14.10.2011: Compilation Lucha Amada
  29.10.2008: Presentació RadioChango Añejo Reserva 7 años // Barcelona Postiza (Català)
  25.10.2008: Presentación RadioChango Añejo Reserva 7 años // Barcelona Postiza (Castellano)
  14.08.2008: Visca la Vida (10 anys Hace Color), de regal en RadioChango!! (Català)
  13.08.2008: Visca la Vida (10 anys Hace Color), de regalo en RadioChango!! (Castellano)
  19.06.2007: 10 años de HACE COLOR (Castellano)
  29.03.2006: Barcelona Raval Session II - con camiseta de regalo!!! (Castellano)
  31.01.2006: BARCELONA RAVAL SESSIONS VOL. 2 (Castellano)
  16.12.2005: NOUR: nuevo proyecto de Yacine Belahcene (Castellano)
  18.11.2005: CHEB BALOWSKI sigue trabajando (Castellano)
  22.09.2005: CHEB BALOWSKI, fin de gira (Castellano)
  10.06.2005: CRONICAS DE ROCK MESTIZO - Música sin papeles (Castellano)
  17.05.2005: Babylon Street se despide hasta el Invierno! (Castellano)
  28.04.2005: CHEB BALOWSKI presents "PLOU PLOM"
  21.04.2005: CHEB BALOWSKI and LA KINKY BEAT on tour
  15.04.2005: Fiesta RadioChango 21.04 (Castellano)
  05.04.2005: Despertando Abril con Babylon Street!!! (Castellano)
  22.03.2005: CD recopilatorio en apoyo a La Haine (Castellano)
  10.02.2005: Cheb Balowski publica el 1 marzo su 3º disco, "Plou plom" (Castellano)
  27.10.2004: 7/11: Cheb Balowski amb els nens del Raval (Català)
  25.08.2004: La Radio : Extramundi Roubaix (Français)
  27.01.2004: NUEVO VIDEOCLIP DE CHEB BALOWSKI (Castellano)

Forum [up]
  The Forum for Cheb Balowski

Interviews [up]
  La Patchanka Bastarda rumbo Bélgica - 08/2003 (Castellano)
  La patchanga batarde de la méditéranée debarque en Bélgique - 08/2003 (Français)
  Música sin Fronteras - 10/2002 (Castellano)

Videos [up]
  11.2008: Fiesta RadioChango // Barcelona Postiza

Photos [up]
  Fiesta RadioChango - Barcelona Postiza
  Festival Esperanzah 2003, Bélgique

Contact & Management [up]
Hace Color
C/ Cardó 11, baixos
08028 Barcelona
Tel: (+34) 93 330 4253
Mov.: (+34) 670 95 27 35

Artists related [up]
  Yacine & Oriental Groove Ensemble

Links [up]


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