Album: Davka by Baklava Express

Aiden Grant

So you talk about fusion?

Let’s REALLY talk about fusion…did you hear about the Baklava Express?

Ok…so let me tell you about the Baklava Express…

Have you ever wanted to eat something sweet, delicious, and unique? Good.

Have you ever wanted to hear something sweet, delicious, and unique?? Very Good.

Baklava Express is a fusion musical group from New York, USA…they play middle eastern fusion instrumental masterpieces that would only be compared to something as sweet and tasteful as Baklava itself.

You see, Baklava is a Turkish delight…and actually can be found in many Arab countries too…and eastern European countries too! It’s so sweet…and if you’ve ever tried it, you’ll love Baklava Express.

Baklava Express plays instrumental music and their music is mainly middle eastern based but with a twist…you’ll get to experience this middle eastern music with different flavors…

Let me tell you how…but first, let’s get to meet the amazingly talented people behind Baklava Express…

Josh Kaye on Oud

Daisy Castro on Violin

Max O’Rourke on Guitars

James Robbins on Bass

Jeremy Smith on Percussion

It was recorded at Studio 42 in Brooklyn, NY.

Engineers: Alessio Romano and Brandon Unpingco

Mixed, mastered, and produced by Alessio Romano

All music was written and arranged by Josh Kaye

Album art by Daisy Castro

…imagine this group of highly creative and talented musicians playing middle eastern, then in the midst of a track like that you hear some blues rock violin licks…I can’t even imagine I’ve thought of this sentence.

I can’t wait to start jumping into their latest album “D​á​vka”….so why wait? Let’s jump in!

Starting with the first track “Kosher Bacon”… tells me a lot about these guys…they have a sense of humor too, I won’t explain the joke, ‘cause you shouldn’t explain a joke…but you know if you know.

The track starts out the album in a chillaxing mood…the percussion is mellow, the violin melodies are emotional and filled with amazing hooks, and the oud is playing unison with the violin…the mood is that of a warm sunny day, overlooking an oasis…does that make sense?

It’s absolutely stunning. It’s a masterpiece, simply said.

Going into the second track, which is the album’s title track “D​á​vka”… D​á​vka, if I am getting the meaning across correctly, is an oriental dance, upbeat in its nature…and that’s the same with this track…it sounds and feels like energetic middle eastern music…the melodic variations in this one is just…lovely and tasteful….which is something you’ll see me mention many times in this article…tasteful…by the way, the oud does an outstanding job in the solo after the midway point in the track…and also the violin with its gypsy jazz unique lick…tasteful.

Going to the third track “I’ll Figure It Out”… has more of that fusion feeling to it, maybe because of the Western utilization of the middle eastern percussion and the chord progression too… especially the part where the oud stars to play the variation progression and the violin playing over it ever so emotionally and smoothly reaching new heights…it’s a fiddler playing middle eastern music…once again, these guys made me write a sentence I wouldn’t have thought of before…

It’s a stunning piece of music that has extreme melodic power within its 3 minutes and 51 seconds…some of the best music I’ve heard…ever.

For the next track, the Baklava Express takes us once more to a more upbeat environment.

I love how this track has a more uplifting feeling to it…and I also have to mention the percussion work here is phenomenal…that’s not to say that it’s the same for the other tracks…it definitely rocks throughout the album, but here it’s different…listen closely and feel the beat.

…next, we go into technical territory…so let’s see now, technical middle eastern fusion instrumental music…glad I could say that out loud too.

“Up To Us” sounds like a very challenging piece to come up with and perform…it’s upbeat and unique time signature nature are highlights of the album…and in the middle of the track everything flips upside down…we can talk about it for hours…but you’d still have to check it out yourself…it has some amazing nylon guitar work in it that highlights the fusion nature of the whole album.

The next track “The Same River Twice”… feels like something out of a fairy tale.

The slower tempo gives ample room for musical buildup…and these guys don’t disappoint…as usual, they take advantage of the slower tempo to build up the emotions…tasteful….

…I’ll keep saying it.

“Turtles All The Way Down” is the next track…the transition in this track takes you from the Middle Eastern deserts to the European classics in one swift move…fusion at its best.

Speaking of European classics, the next surprise is “Waltz For Omer”.

Baklava Express took their instruments and made them dance the waltz in classical European gowns…stop making me say these sentences…this is brilliant….unfortunately, it’s the shortest track in the album, that is its only downside.

Moving to the next stop of this mesmerizing journey…and I’m sad to say that it is, but this is the ninth and last track of the album…it’s titled “Baklava Express”.

I don’t think I need to say anything at this point…of course, you already know…it’s nothing short of brilliant.

After experiencing Baklava Express’ “D​á​vka” I have to say…

This is one of the most complete albums I’ve ever experienced in my life and it is worth getting all the recognition in the world.

These guys did an amazing job in not only capturing the middle eastern soul, but they added to it in many beautiful and…I’m gonna say it again…tasteful ways…

“D​á​vka” is a masterpiece whichever way you decide to look at it.

“D​á​vka” cannot be recommended enough…for anyone. Period.

Baklava Express, you put a smile on my face and on my heart, I wish you all the best in life, you deserve all the best and a lot more.


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Born in the 80s, attracted by the beats and feeds on music, the "Hamza Sharkas" is a musical-carnivore that uses guitars, piano and drums as his weapons of choice in hunting down and composing music, mainly for short movies, solo work and his other musical projects. The "Sharkas" also records, mixes and masters music. One of the goals of the "Sharkas" is to spread musical knowledge and music technology education as much as possible through workshops and online articles. Beware the "Sharkas"....for he won't shut up about music and will go on and on and on and on….


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