This article first appeared at The Queens Tribune on Dec. 31, 2014.

BadBuka

New York City is home to a nearly countless number of musicians. While that means there is something for everyone, it also means that it is difficult to stand out from the crowd. The Bayside-based Bad Buka though is truly a unique band that reflects the diversity of its home borough.

The nine-piece ensemble brings its Balkan gypsy blues to New York City’s collective mix of world music and punk attitude. Their music is passionately manic, bursting with energy from the instrumentation to the vocals. With trumpets and violins adding to the traditional guitar, bass and drums, these are songs that you can dance or rock out to. One thing you will not do when listening is keep still. After all, “buka” means noise in Serbo/Croatian.

According to guitarist Christofer Lovrin, the band’s inception came from the marriage between vocalist Slavko Bosnjak and M.C./backing vocalist Carla T. The two realized there was some common ground musically and they started writing together. Carla joined soon afterwards and the band grew from there.

“The way we played felt original, like something we never heard before and were excited about,” Lovrin said.

The group’s first release was the single, All The Angels, which came out in 2011. The song came out of the band’s love of old Romani and Mexican brass band music. Bad Buka molded this upbeat vibe with a punk rock sensibility to create something fresh.

“Slavko and I have a strange psychic connection on some level and things just kind of happen on their own after that,” Lovrin said. “We also really like mixing joviality with intense heightened energy. It seems to make for a healthy kind of craziness.”

Bad Buka’s followed that single with its debut album, Through The Night, released in February 2014. For this record, the band captured the intensity of its live shows, putting together 18 songs and then chopping that number down to those found on the LP.

While Through The Night may capture the feeling of a live concert, it is not the same as being there. When you are at a n show, you can not only hear the energy and passion coming from the band, but you can see it in action as well. According to Lovrin, Slavko, Carla and vocalist/percussionist Diana are natural performers who fit perfectly with the group’s vibe.

“I am and have always been about the groove and the energy level coming through really strong and finding song structures that keep it flowing,” Lovrin said. “I often want to feel like I could dance to the music. We have fun with mistakes on stage and let it feed our fire.”

Bad Buka has ambitious plans for this year, as the band wants to record the three albums’ worth of songs they have built up. The group also plans to play some more gigs as they work on evolving their sound and performance. To keep up with the latest, visit http://www.badbuka.com.