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Full feature and in depth interview from Culture N.I. about the origins of the BASORK, it's members, influences and unique sound.

Martin Coyle talks to Across the Line about the forthcoming album launch  from BASORK with featured tracks and in depth presentation 

Feature for BBC - THE ARTS SHOW 

(BASORK interview 19min into show)


(BASORK interview 30min into show)


Few Bulgarians would be able to pinpoint on the map the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland, but their curiosity will surely be sparked once they learn they can go to a folk club there and dance to the rhythms of Bulgarian folk music? Since 2007, the music scene in Derry already has a solid Balkan presence and interestingly enough, it is delivered to the audience by a bunch of musicians of various music backgrounds yet none of them from the Balkans. Brought together by their common passion for the successful blend between local melodies and the musical diversity of Eastern Europe, seven Irish musicians gather crowds at their gigs, dancing to tunes they only later recognize are not originally Irish – and it’s all done it under a really catchy name – the Balkan Alien Sound.

Full interview and article here :


The Balkan sound, by way of the Emerald Isle

Ah, the Balkans! Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Derry, Donegal… Eh?! Thanks to the prowess of a certain bunch of Irish musicians, we can - for this weekend at least - extend the boundaries of the Balkans to include the north-west corner of Ireland. Collectively answering to the name of Balkan Alien Sound, they're a squad of musicians of different persuasions (folkies, jazzers, bluesmen, classical players) all corralled into this celebration of gypsy and klezmer music by bouzouki player/Balkans nut Martin Coyle. And terrific they are too, all spiralling violins, melodious accordions and various stringed instruments - but with the added attraction of the solid groove provided by bass and drums. Close your eyes and you'd believe you were listening to the real thing. Let Balkan Alien Sound be your ticket to a destination somewhat east of here, all without having to endure the airline food or the impolite man in seat 42B.

(Biography written by Nige Tassell, WOMAD)


Culture N.I. Review of Neil Cowley Trio Collaboration 2014

"The fusion between Cowley's Trio and members of the Derry collective Balkan Alien Sound is particularly seamless. There's a wild, unkempt attitude in the playing of violinist Robert Peoples and bouzouki expert Martin Coyle, that makes a glove-like fit with the high energy levels of Cowley and his wingmen."

(Terry Blain, Culture Northern Ireland)


"The masters of adrenalin. Thank you SO much for making the onstage experience a true party. You're the business. Can't wait to do it again!!"

(Neil Cowley, U.K. Jazz Musician of the Year 2013)


Balkan Alien Sound are a 7-piece Irish band from around Derry and Donegal. Ok. Not exactly Serbia, but who cares these days. With a repertoire that encompasses gypsy, klezmer and balkan musics these guys have been building up a reputation worthy of a place at Womad. I went down to photograph them at the Charlie Gillett Stage and really enjoyed their sense of purpose and fun. They certainly seemed to be having a good time and that’s always infectious. 


I was just about to leave after having spent 15 minutes shooting them - most of the other photographers had just left - when they announced that their singer was coming on now. Oh? I didn’t realize they had one. Ok, fair enough. I’ll snap a few off. And on walks the rather lovely Aideen McGinn.

I’ll just say that I stayed a tadge longer than I should have, for purely professional reasons of course, you know, just to make sure the photos were all in focus, and so on and so forth… ahem. Lovely! Oh, she can sing too.

(Review by Glyn Phillips -




Music Review Unsigned

Balkan Alien Sound is an interesting hybrid of traditional Balkan music and jazz. There are loads of infectious grooves on this record. It manages to be intricate but also melodious and repetitive without being boring, characteristics shared by much trad music around the world including our own Irish variety.

The jazz element is supplied by the electric guitar and bass guitar. They match the lively, intricate Balkan music and play some tasty solos. All in all, the musicianship showed by this group is of a high quality indeed.

The music is very lively and if you listen closely to it you’ll find it takes you on a journey, a journey that should be shared. It was meant to be played before a crowd. It must be a memorable experience to see this band perform live, in their element. Who would have thought this strange fusion would work so well, the jazz guitar and bass sitting so comfortably in the traditional Balkan musical context.


This record will appeal to anyone with an open mind and who is willing to move outside their musical comfort zone.


Review by David Jordan


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