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Black Ox Orkestar


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Montreal, Canada (2000 – present)

Black Ox Orkestar began in the summer of 2000, the project of four Montreal, Canada musicians exploring their common Jewish heritage for sounds that could speak to them today. Listening to pre-war recordings of Jewish and non-Jewish music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, they wanted to capture the rawness and emotional intensity they heard there. They also threw their own musical histories into the mix, their years of playing , , or , creating not so much a of old and new as a way to tear the old sounds from the past and make them resonate in the present. The band tries to be true to the strangeness and beauty of these archaic songs, translating them into new forms, and writing new material that continues an imaginary tradition still humming in their ears.

On Yiddish

The Yiddish language has always been at the center of the project. A unique mixture of German, Hebrew, and Slavic elements, it was the everyday speech of Eastern European Jews for centuries. The voice of the Jewish political and artistic radicalism of the 19th and early 20th centuries was uttered in Yiddish. Suffragettes, sweatshop activists, anarchists and modernist poets all participated in a global, cosmopolitan culture that followed the exodus of Jews from Eastern Europe. This flowering of modern Yiddish was cut short by the Shoah and by the emergence of the state of Israel, which enshrined Hebrew as a national Jewish language.


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  • Rapovezz


    19 Jan 10:52pm Reply
  • Winterisle

    "twee indie female post-folk pop doom metal" Love it.

    7 Mar 2013 Reply
  • tsintskaro

    Their new album is called "Nostril Milk from the Red Heifer: the Galloping Babel of Shoutboxes"'s going to be some proper post rock, no mistake, and because they are Jewish, it will also be Klezmer.

    25 Nov 2012 Reply
  • strangestlover

    Amazed, soul-touched, all things. I adore this.

    25 Nov 2012 Reply
  • YertGuy

    Their next album should be called: "Not Klezmer"

    22 Nov 2012 Reply
  • titan2589

    me want moar!

    4 Aug 2012 Reply
  • SeeEmilyPlay-

    love it

    30 Jun 2012 Reply
  • Ignorez

    nice post-rock................................................................................................................

    1 May 2012 Reply
  • tsintskaro

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of healthy discussion, in fact it should be encouraged. That is unless you actually enjoy reading soundbites like "overrated", "underrated", "post-gaze", "sooooo good" or "hipster blah" ad infinitum.

    29 Jan 2012 Reply
  • raquelaquer

    give up the fight about tags and listen to the music, freaks! :) [2]

    4 Oct 2011 Reply
  • myrkkyhammas

    yes. for those of you who don't know: this band does not make klezmer. it's hipster-friendly kind-of-yiddish indie folk blah.

    23 Aug 2011 Reply
  • NINlife

    This would be strange to have sex to

    25 Jul 2011 Reply
  • blindsunden

    Black Ox Orkestar are one of my favorite bands, but I can't stress clearly enough that this is NOT Klezmer. Klezmer consits mostly of dance songs and lively instrumental pieces for weddings and other celebrations. The bands music is also close to a lot of traditional Cretan folk music by "sound", but they predominantly play European Jewish folk.

    20 Jul 2011 Reply
  • joseies

    Wow, it's so fuckin' amazing

    31 May 2011 Reply
  • velveteer27

    Very different kind of Klezmer. Would love some recommendations. All I could find was very cheery stuff, nothing as dark and bleak as this. Would love some more stuff like this.

    9 May 2011 Reply
  • impronen

    Good stuff. Should probably look deeper into klezmer in whole.

    22 Jan 2011 Reply
  • iamholgerczukay

    I've had Ver Tanzt forever and have never really listened to it... I've been missing out, this is phenomenal.

    15 Jun 2010 Reply
  • antonio_x

    Greatest CST Records band after Silver Mt Zion... I wish they released another record..

    5 Apr 2010 Reply
  • nicki_psychotic

    i like this music so much! *like it so much* :-)))

    5 Mar 2010 Reply
  • recommendme

    give up the fight about tags and listen to the music, freaks! :)

    2 Mar 2010 Reply
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