Living the Trans-Continental Hustle

By Kate Janse van Rensburg



Gypsy punks, Gogol Bordello strike again with their fifth album, Trans-continental Hustle. The album follows a deeper exploration into the wild antics of Gogol Bordello as true performers who combine music, art and drama into rowdy platforms of brilliance. Gogol Bordello have come a long way since their debut track Start Wearing Purple, shot them to fame in 1999. Instrumentally they have begun to elaborate on their sound by using various instruments that add interesting dimensions of sound and vigour. They have clearly embraced the confidence created from the success of their previous albums.

Trans-continental Hustle delves deep into the experiences surrounding being an immigrant in a foreign country. Each track exudes an energy that gives a feeling of empowerment to the audience, and speaks specifically to you if you are an immigrant. Raw authenticity is directed at the listeners via the lyrics due to them undoubtedly being based on real encounters for the gypsy punks who have been living in America.

Each member of the band hails from a different foreign country within the east including Russia to Ukraine and China among others. The amalgamation of their diverse heritages is what makes their music so unique and distinctive. The fact that their sound and overall performance is so disorientated acts to emphasise their immigrant status.

Lead vocalist, Eugene Hutz has been living in Brazil recently, having originally moved to America with refugee status in the 1990s. Evidently many of the diverse musical rifts have been influenced by the traditional Brazilian music.

Specific tracks to listen to are Immigraniada which will leave you feeling empowered as an immigrant due to its catchy chorus and lyrics that are definitely ?coming rougher every time?.Sun is on my side contrasts to the hectic tireless amounts of energy heard in most tracks. Its haunting, slow, ballad-like melodies are emphasised by the yearning accordion in the background. The incredible skills of the talented fifty three year old violinist are felt in My Companjera and match the oomph of any youthful competitor. Rebellious love is the only track lacking in Gogol Bordello?s true energetic rebellious style.

Gogol Bordello has once again achieved their mission of provoking their audience into rejecting post modernism ? everything has not been done –and their proclamation of this has been proven with Trans-continental Hustle. This chaotic act of an album will leave you ready to live with a dynamite burst of culture! 


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