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Eastern Europe yields rich crop of music

Unblocked: Music of Eastern Europe
Unblocked: Music of Eastern Europe
By various artists

Ellipsis Arts: 1997

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This review first appeared in the December 13, 1997 edition of the American Reporter.

The problem with the folks at Ellipsis Arts is that they just don't understand that the great age of exploration is over. Amundsson and Perry are dead – and the time for grand adventure died with them.

That's just one theory that Ellipsis Arts regularly stands on its head. Another is the unwritten rule that you can't make a living producing albums of weird folk music.

Lucky for us that Ellipsis Arts founder and owner Jeffrey Charno is so dense as to not listen to the experts, because we get some great music out of his stubbornness. The latest is "Unblocked," a three-disc collection of music from Eastern Europe. From the Baltics to the Balkans, the Ellipsis Arts crew recorded and collected a bundle of styles ranging from crazed folk dances to the by-now-famous chants to swirling gypsy melodies.

There is, of course, this being an Ellipsis Arts release, a lavishly illustrated booklet accompanying the CDs; 72 pages of color photos, liner notes, regional history and travelogue.

Anyone with even a passing interest in world music will be fascinated by this set.