Mecka Bela

Mecka Bela

Our CD will take you for a Balkan ride, loaded with energy, furious rhythms, a lyric Balkan soul and heartbreaking ballads, topped of with a Dutch sense of humour.

We invite you to get on our Mecka Bela – a white gypsy Mercedes – and enjoy an experience extra spezial!

Carlama Orkestar is a band heavily rooted in the Balkan brass tradition. For four of our members it is the music they grew up with. For the other two it is the music they had been preparing for all of their life.

Carlama is expanding this Balkan music tradition to new territory. First of all we play brass music on saxophones and with a heavier rhythm section which we believe amplifies and enhances what this music is about. Secondly it is impossible for us not to broaden the tradition as all band members currently live in the densely populated Netherlands rather than a village somewhere in the Balkans. We incorporate rhythms from around the globe, and from different genres, into the Balkan idiom. Reggae and drum ‘n bass go along with 11/8 and top-speed oom-pah (“Dvojka”).

Traditional style melodies are contrasted with heavy and condensed improvisation. Texts reflect traditional Balkan themes such as the quality of food, the importance of a good barbeque and the joy of owning your own white Mercedes, along with modern big city themes such as talent shows and reality TV. Observing our value systems clashing between a nice old car and environmental concerns, or traditional skills versus the shortcuts to commercial success. “


The inspiration for all these styles and texts emerged in rehearsals, and were skillfully molded into songs by Stanislav Mitrovic.

The finished product is in your hands. So please, turn up the volume, put on your dancing shoes, have a great meal and enjoy life!


By Henk Spies

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