Several years ago I was freelance music journalist, writing for the long-defunct Long Island City, NY-based Ins&Outs Magazine. Within the first year or so of my stint with the publication, there had been a decided focus on local, independent music – namely the then seemingly burgeoning music scenes around Long Island City and Astoria. In the case of Astoria, a great deal of the music coverage revolved around a loose collective of Astoria-based musician and artists under the rubric of Astoria Music and Arts. (DISCLOSURE: Ins&Outs had a very close relationship with the folks behind Astoria Music and Arts, promoting and covering several of their bigger shows. I had some passing involvement in that development.)
I first stumbled onto the Astoria, NY-based Balkan folk/punk act Bad Buka when they played at Astoria Music and Arts’ music festival at the old Wonderland Collective in Astoria. And at the time, the band went by the name Panonian Wave. Regardless of the band’s name, their live show has remained remarkably consistent: they play a sweaty, high energy set, and their music is exceedingly passionate yet danceable. Sonically, their material owes a great deal to the folk songs of the Balkan region (in particular, Croatia where half the band can claim heritage), punk rock and even elements of hip hop.
Locally, they’ve developed a reputation for a passionate, sweaty and unpredictably wild live show of incredibly fun, danceable music. “Through the Night/Moj Moj” is Bad Buka’s first official video and it creates an excellent sense of their live sound – full of large, almost operatic emotion, horns, elegant strings, buzzing guitars, wild time signature changes and an in your face attitude. it’s a sound that’s immediate and wildly passionate. You’ll want to get up dance, shout and break stuff that’s how much fucking fun it is.