Shit, today was tough. I woke up, and for a second, all I could see was gray, gray to the corners of my eyes. I thought I had gone blind, until it cleared, leaving this weird film, sucking the life out of everything I looked at. My girlfriend woke up and asked if I was alright: looking in the mirror, I didn't blame her. My skin was pale and clammy, cold to the touch; my eyes blood-red; my hair sticky with the night's sweat.

I walked into the kitchen and made myself a coffee. At the first sip, my stomach twisted. I ran to the toilet and puked bile. I knelt there for about five minutes; I just didn't feel like standing up. When I did, the room turned, and I nearly fell over. Shying from the light, I crawled back into bed, declaring the world to be agony and life to be nothing but a brief shuffle towards death. My girlfriend called me a jerk and stormed off to work.

Three hours later, I realized what was wrong.

I didn't have enough CDs of indie bands covering Balkan gypsy folk songs! It was so obvious.

Crawling to my computer, I desperately searched the Internet for something — anything — to fill the crippling void that threatened to swallow me forever. Nothing. I tore at my hair, I cried, I gnashed my teeth.

Desolate, I looked for something to end my life with. As I was about to crush my head into oblivion with a heavy DIY manual, I heard the ping of an e-mail's arrival. It was a press release, from Crammed Records..

"Gypsy musicians have always absorbed and transformed the many different styles of music that they encountered during their journeys. But what might happen if young western European or American musicians did the same thing to Balkan Gypsy music? If they absorbed some of its spirit and infused it into their own sonic world? Well, the answer lies in the album you're currently reading about...

Electric Gypsyland is a collection of reinterpretations/re-inventions of tracks from three of the leading Balkan Gypsy bands (Crammed's mighty Taraf de Haïdouks, Koçani Orkestar and Mahala Raï Banda), made by notorious fusionists and mainstays of the new Balkan club scene, and by more unexpected contributors coming from totally different musical areas. Also featured are many additional guest musicians (from Europe, Turkey, Africa), engaging in virtual jamming with the original players."

Although no tracklisting was ready yet, it promised songs from Animal Collective, Nouvelle Vague, Cibelle, Tunng, Shantel, Oi-Va-Voi, Balkan Beat Box, and 43 Skidoo, among others.

The ordeal wasn't over yet, though. Electric Gypsyland 2 isn't to be released until November 7. The next few weeks are going to be tough. But I think that I can make it. I know I can make it.

Actually, I'm just kidding. I don't even have hair! Or a girlfriend! Haha! Ha... Oh, er, you should probably still pick up this CD when it's released, though. I mean, if you like the sound of it.

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