NORTH ADAMS -- The dance floor at MASS MoCA's Hunter Center promises to get wild on Saturday, March 16, at 8 p.m., when the explosive energy and Mediterranean-influenced music of Balkan Beat Box comes to North Adams.
Balkan Beat Box burst onto the New York City underground music scene in 2005 with a self-titled debut album that introduced the world to its mix of Balkan traditions, hip-hop, and electronica. Founded by Israeli-born, now-Brooklyn-dwelling musicians Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat (and now including Tomer Yosef) Balkan Beat Box has built a reputation as a "global peacekeeping mission you can dance to," according to SPIN. The New York Post recently warned concert-goers to "come prepared for a raucous night."
Kaplan and Muskat met in Brooklyn as teenagers, having grown up around music: Kaplan was a klezmer clarinetist and Muskat was a punk rock drummer.
Together they created their own musical style, fusing Balkan and Middle Eastern musical stylings with Gypsy punk, electronic, and hip-hop beats. Balkan Beat Box also draws inspiration from Jamaican dub.
As a unit, the group often collaborates with a host of other musicians, both in the studio and onstage.
Balkan Beat Box's self-titled first album was released in 2005, and focuses mainly on Mediterranean sounds. Their follow-up release, 2007's "Nu Med," includes Arabic and Spanish influences. Both albums have received
Balkan Beat Box hits the Hunter Center stage on Saturday, March 16, at 8 p.m. Drinks from the MASS MoCA bar and dinner from Lickety Split will be available before and during the show.
Tickets are $15 in advance, $19 on the day of the show, and $10 for students. MASS MoCA members receive a 10 percent discount.