East European party music SkaZka were formed by young guys Artur Gortatschov and Valentin Butt, who shared a homeland in the former Soviet Union but who grew up in Germany. Both also share serious classical music credentials, having studied at the prestigious Hans Eisler academy and played in orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic.

While classical music might be what they are grounded in, it is fast and furious East European music they create as co-leaders of SkaZka (a Russian word that seemingly means 'fairytale').

SkaZka Orchestra has grown to include eight musicians and regular gigging has ensured that it is a very tight and dynamic ensemble. Their accordion-driven sound is punchy and they blend the energy of Balkan bands with a roughshod, devil-may-care rock bravado. The songs are sung in French and Russian and have a droll flavour that suggests this band enjoy life and don't take things too seriously.

With excellent use of brass, a strong, flexible rhythm section, fluid accordion, a willingness to mix and match without appearing opportunistic - SkaZka Orchestra are one of the freshest East European bands on the bloc.

with thanks to Garth Cartwright(Songlines)

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SkaZka Orchestra