Formed in New York in 1999 and named after Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, Gogol Bordello’s sound quickly developed from more traditional Gypsy music to the raucous Gypsy punk sound they are now known for. Certainly it was in place by their second album, ‘Multi Kontra Culti Vs Irony’, in 2002, though their breakthrough success was 2005′s ‘Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike’.
The band is fronted by the infectiously enthusiastic Eugene Hütz, who is responsible for the band’s eclectic range of influences, picked up while living in various countries as a refugee for several years after his family was evacuated following the Chernobyl disaster. Very tall with a bushy moustache and an unmistakable voice, he is captivating both on record and at the band’s energetic live shows.
You can catch him and the rest of Gogol Bordello next week when they play two headline shows at The Forum in London on Tuesday and Wednesday to promote their ‘Transcontinental Hustle’ album, which was released earlier this year. Ahead of that we asked Eugene, who’s also known for his mindblowing DJ sets, to put together a Powers Of Ten playlist for us.
EUGENE HÜTZ’S TEN
Click here to listen to Eugene’s playlist in Spotify or listen via multiple sources on Tomahawk, and then read on to find out more about his selections.
01 Forro In The Dark – Nonsensical
A great song in a style of “I went to a place, it pissed me off, so I came home and wrote about it”. Original punk impulse! But in a style of Brazilian forro. You will soon see why David Byrne records with these guys.
02 The Jolly Boys – Passenger
It’s hard to make a fantastic cover of this Iggy Pop classic, and God knows plenty of people have tried. But this Jamaican crew nail it – really fresh!
03 Chico Science & Nação Zumbi – Macô
This track effortlessly demonstrates why this Brazilian band is one of the best rock guru voices in history. Plus, I don’t think Mark E Smith ever expected to be sampled in such a context.
04 Los Fabulosos Cadillacs – Matador
Absolutely timeless South America rock song, the kind to raise the dead.
05 Manu Chao – La Vida Tombola
Needless to say, Manu knows how to write a good song for a good cause.
06 Les Claypool – Bite Out Of Life
Just a crazy Gypsy prog rock jam we originated with Les in his home studio. It turned out great enough for release on his last album.
07 Ustata – Male Male
Just when you think there is no good new summer song around to bust the party, here comes Ustata from Serbia. Instant Gypsy hip-hop classic. Maximum life-loving boogie down.
08 Chico Buarque – Construçäo/Deus Lhe Pagu
This is just too good to be true, great avant-garde melancholic heavy bossa arranged and performed by a genius.
09 Bon Iver – Skinny Love
So good a folk song, it will be on repeat play for a month.
10 Thurston Moore – Honest James
I’ve waited for 20 years for Thurston to record an acoustic album. Absurd? No fucking way! Sweetest thing ever and amazing!