ZIVOT Front Cover Mini 3K x 3K Cat. Nr.



Jaro Milko & The Cubalkanics

Release Titel:


Release Date:



Jasha! Records


World / Balkan / Cuba / Latin / Oriental


Press Release / Description:

"Zivot means 'life' in Czech, and life is all about change," says guitarist and band leader Jaro Milko. "This album reflects the changes the Cubalkanics have undergone since the last album, as well as all the crazy things that are currently happening around the globe."

With their debut album ''Cigarros Explosivos!'' in 2014, Jaro Milko & The Cubalkanics mixed Cuban and Balkan influences to come up with something fresh and new, and toured extensively throughout Europe. Whenever Milko was not performing, he travelled a lot in Greece, Turkey and Israel, which in turn gave him all kinds of new musical inspiration.

Back home, Milko brought his friend and producer Tod A (Firewater, Cop Shoot Cop) on board to realise his vision. "Tod simplified the arrangements and helped with the lyrics," said Milko. "We found out what worked and what didn’t. First and foremost, we absolutely wanted the songs to groove," said Milko. "Even if the topic is serious, the beat should still grab you and make you get up and dance." Both also wanted to have more songs with lyrics. So they invited Milko's wife Jana Kouril and Israeli singer Kama Kamila to contribute to the vocals on ''Zivot''.

There were even more changes. ''Up until then Lukas Briggen had played all the basslines on the trombone," said Milko. ''But for this album we wanted a complete brass section. So we invited bass guitarist William Nicastro (Figli Di Madre Ignota), which freed up Lukas to now be able to play like a real trombonist." They were joined by Figli Di Madre Ignota trumpeter Stefano Iascone and Firewater trombonist Nimrod Talmon. A friend of Tod from Istanbul, Roma percussionist Onur Nar, provided the oriental grooves. Everything was then mixed by legendary punk engineer Marco Bonanomi (Figli di Madre Ignota, Firewater, Ministri) in a former brothel in Milan, and the mastering was done by Pieter Snapper in the Babajim Studios in Istanbul.

Each song on ''Zivot'' has its own story: Milko, for example, wrote ''Moonlight on Filoti'' about a wedding on a Greek island, where three generations danced together. ''Hafla Revolution'' (featuring singer Kama Kamila) in turn, came into being after Milko discovered Israeli-Greek guitar legend Aris San in a tiny record shop in Jaffa, Israel. And on ''Don’t Fly Away'' (also with Kamila) Milko combines his love for surf music with Turkish melodies.

Even if the songs on ''Zivot'' are headed off musically in an easterly direction, fans of ''Cigarros Explosivos!'' will in no way be disappointed. The Cubalkanics rhythm section with Eric Gut and Ines Brodbeck continue to deliver sweat-inducing Latin grooves, while Milko's virtuoso guitar playing slides over the arrangements.

''Life always brings changes," says Jaro Milko. ''The challenge lies in making sure that those changes lead to something better!"

''Zivot'' by Jaro Milko & The Cubalkanics is being released on 11/30/2018 on Jasha! Records. The album is available everywhere as a CD, digital download or through streaming.

1. Oye Todos Borrachos
2. Baile Baile Baile
3. Moonlight on Filoti
4. Salt & Pepper
5. A Fistful of Rupees
6. Zivot
7. Hafla Revolution
8. Suelta La Rienda
9. A Belly Full of Raki
10. Don’t Fly Away
11. The Girl From Uskudar
12. Refugee
Jaro Milko & The Cubalkanics

Jaro Milko – Guitars, Electric Baglama, Vocals
Eric Gut – Drums
Ines Brodbeck – Latin Percussion
Lukas Briggen – Trombone

Stefano Iascone – Trumpet
Kama Kamila – Vocals on 'Refugee', 'Hafla Revolution', 'Don’t Fly Away'
Jana Kouril – Vocals on 'Oye Todos Borrachos', 'Salt & Pepper', 'Zivot',
Onur Nar – Turkish Percussion
William Nicastro – Electric Bass
Nimrod Talmon – Trombone, Accordion, Organ
Tod A. – Loops, Maracas, Backing Vocals, Penne Rigate
Andu Lelé, Roberto Venegas, Sandro Guevara – Additional Vocals
Produced by Tod A and mixed by Marco Bonanomi



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