Total brass band speed metal, exhilarating, starts fast - and takes off from there. 


Artist: Fanfare Savale

Album: Speed Brass of the Gypsies

Label: Sub Rosa

Review date: Apr. 6, 2005


While the concept of so-called scenes, and the multi-pronged influence of a locality on the music created by its inhabitants, is frequently exaggerated, it’s impossible to deny that it can be a useful way to approach the discussion of music. Art isn’t created in a vacuum, after all, and any output is doubtlessly going to contain, even if subconsciously, fragments of response to, or representation of, an artist’s surroundings. The problem in this approach is that it often allows for a crutch that makes it too easy to oversimplify and make broad, sweeping generalizations. The “Olympia sound,” New York’s downtown scene of the late '70s, and Manchester in the Factory Records heyday each contain both valid and more strenuous connections between bands and musicians, and have become signifiers that, more often than is prudent, have become an all too easy calling card for anyone looking to describe the music than has traditionally fallen into any of these categories. In certain cases, usually outside the realm of rock and popular music, though, these socio-geographical classifications are valid to an almost pinpoint degree. Fanfare Savale are a perfect example of such a case.

Gypsy music, a rather nebulous genre to the purist, can all be traced back to the music of the Romanes, a culture who emigrated from India around 300 B.C. In the intervening centuries, the term gypsy has become a signifier of the various strains of people that have resulted from this original society, and it’s not surprising that the resulting musical traditions of such a diverse population are quiet varied from country to country, province to province, and even town to town. Fanfare Savale hail from Zece Prãjini, a small village in Eastern Romania. Despite their miniscule population, the inhabitants of the village have a musical voice that roars above those of cities of myriad more residents. A longstanding musical tradition is imbued in the village’s residents, culminating in their own specific style of gypsy brass music. Fanfare Savale, and the residents of Zece Prãjini in general, make use of most of the tools, instrumentally and compositionally, that many of their peers implement. However, what sets this specific variety apart is the breakneck speeds at which it is often played. Though it seems nearly every male inhabitant of the village could just as easily fill a slot in the group, Fanfare Savale consists of only 10 members, enough to give the band’s sound heft and power, though not so many musicians that the quickly-moving compositions ever lose their fluidity and clarity. The songs are fast, often instrumental, and usually rather short. And though they’re not stunningly intricate, the speed at which the music is played often makes up for any simplicity, sometimes even making the troupe sound a bit cartoonish. For the most part, though, Fanfare Savale’s velocity and dexterity are exhibited in a more tasteful manner, and, after the disc’s 40 minutes, it’s easy to forget just how fast the group is playing, since by then their adroitness has rendered even 200 bpm as rather normal.

The traditional venues for gypsy music are community events; weddings, funerals, and the like. One would assume that Fanfare Savale play the same role in Zece Prãjini. If so, it’s hard to imagine even a funeral march that wouldn’t have patrons tapping their feet. Zece Prãjini must be a village of immense vitality, with groups like Fanfare Savale providing life’s soundtrack, and it likely will be for generations to come.

By Adam Strohm, Dusted Magazine - USA

More irresistible brass band music from Eastern Europe, played at the classic warp speed, that has been made famous by Karandila and Fanfare Ciocarlia. This Romanian band matches them in verve, style, creative madness and of course, pure beats-per-second.

Fanfare Savale / Speed Brass of the Gypsies


Album: Speed Brass of the Gypsies                    Collection:            World

Artist:   Fanfare Savale                                             Added:       02/2005

Label:   Sub Rosa                                                                          

Album Review


Reviewed 2005-02-22 

Oh my heavens, Ethel, they play so very fast indeed! From a small village in Romania comes this band of 11 who combine Gypsy brass with Balkan folk and then everyone does double shots of espresso and takes speed and they all get insane. When do these guys breathe? You’ll be amazed at how fast they play. Most tracks very short. Fascinating stuff, especially these:

2. Hyper fast. Like a slapstick frenzy.

3. Driving march-like w/vocals. Not as fast as some.

4. Buzzing-quick vocals into wicked fast brass.

6. A quirky oom-pah romp w/vocals.

7. Like it should play behind someone spinning plates.

10. Bring on the circus! Quick! Bring it on! Now!

12. Clarinet adds a touch of klezmer...only on speed.

13. Has an odd galloping quality.

15. Big, bright, and brassy. A bit more melodic than some.

17. Seizure-inducing fast.

20. Folksy & slower w/vocals.

Speed Brass of the Gypsies (Sub Rosa) cd

Fanfare Savale are an eleven piece gypsy brass band (ten horns, one drummer) from the Eastern Romanian village of Zece Prajini. Like Fanfare Ciocarlia, Savale often play at impossibly fast (upwards of 200 bpm) tempos and, being a group that makes its living through weddings and festivals, can play for extended durations. Infectious and reckless, it's hard not to start jumping up and down to Fanfare Savale's festive brass hard core. Put this on and open up the wine at your next party and you can bet someone's going to get hurt by the time the night's through.

élec Festival, LausanneSwitzerland 23rd of May 2003

I very much liked it; I had never seen that kind of fanfare: very much different of the traditional fanfares we have here! The ambiance was very good: many people dancing. I think this music is very powerful and gives the envy to dance. The musician seemed to be very happy to play and I think that is good. I very much like Bregovic and I could recognize some similarities, of tzigan music. I had a great time!

David Pichonnaz, Montreux Jazz Festival Foundation – Switzerland


TAM TAM: Suoni E Culture Dal Mondo, BassanoItaly 25th of June 2003


Grande coinvolgimento del pubblico. Fanfara dai Balcani e la festa si scatena. I Savale animano la prima serata etnica di Bassano. ...mentre la Fanfara Savale classica brass band balcanica rumena, si avvia verso il centro città, quasi piffero magico a richiamare pubblico. Intanto la sera è scesa e lo spettacolo ha inizio con la Fanfara Savale. Subito viene rivolto agli spettatori seduti sulle tribune l’invito ad alzarsi, a muoversi ed a seguirla. I nove suonatori soffiano nei loro strumenti in ritmi veloci. sottolineati da un tamburo: volti bruni, capelli neri da Rom autentici, vesti informali. E subito ne scaturisce l’idea di essere al seguito di un matrimonio, durante il quale ci si ferma a danzare, a far cerchi intorno agli sposi che si avvicinano e si allontanano in movimenti frenetici. Ci si muove in diverse riprese, poi si torna in teatro e la fanfara sale sul palco. Suona e suona ancora tra l’entusiasmo del pubblico, e si muove in gran finale tra lo stesso, salendo fino all’ultima gradinata fra gli applausi. Un commento per tutti dalla voce di una bella ragazza «...avere al proprio matrimonio una band così... un vero e proprio sogno!».

Elide Imperatori Bellotti, IL GIORNALE DI VICENZA – Italy



... chiuso la kermesse la Fanfara Savale, piccolo borgo della Romania: 11 elementi su note della tradizione secolare delle regioni rumene e una miscela di antichi ritmi gitani con la loro velocità sfrenata.




...unadelle più formidabili fanfare di Romania, la Fanfare Savale...




E si può parlare davvero di danza perché quella sera il gioco si fece eccitante sul serio. Ed improvvisai uno strip-tease, integrale o quasi, sulle note dei Fanfare Savale, un gruppo rumeno che eseguiva il repertorio classico delle bande da matrimonio e funerale. Esilarante, con tanto di movimenti del bacino al suono di tromba, clarinetto, sax e flic. In realtà più danza popolare che spogliarello. Ma fu un momento indimenticabil!



Candela Festival, Antwerpen – Belgium 14th - 17th of August 2003


No Salsa music that night, but music from Kilimanjaro (Kameroen), T.O.K. (Aruba), Waza Roots (Ghana) , Fanfare Savale (Romania) and Buchemi & Igor Migor (Belgium)... We arrived at the time T.O.K. started its concert... Waza Roots, with his afro-reggae made the tent roll on the music, but it was Fanfare Savale with its gipsy music that deserved to become the public's favorite... 

Francois, – Belgium