The Los Angeles Times calls Eastern Blok’s music “relentlessly innovative work.”
Downbeat Magazine claims that “the ensemble playing is often breakneck and consistently challenging.”
Acoustic Guitar Magazine raves that Eastern Blok plays with “blazing virtuosity and sheer beauty.”
After performing over 300 shows a year and selling more than 3,000 records, the band EASTERN BLOK formerly known as The Goran Ivanovic Group has recorded a new album, changed their name, and has been successfully packing venues throughout the country since the release of their self-titled debut album in 2005....
After the whirlwind experience of Goran Ivanovic Group (Balkan Song Records, 2006), the group, which has remained stable, changed its named to Eastern Blok. Incredible as it might seem, Folk Tales is tighter and more complex than the first album, while retaining the earlier energy and abandon.
While virtuoso guitarist Goran Ivanoic remains the nominal leader of the group and main composer, Doug Rosenberg (reeds), Matt Ulery (bass) and Michael Caskey (drums and percussion) are further integrated into the group sound. This sound is a mix of Balkan folk music and some Klezmer, with the jazz aesthetic of improvisation wrapped in an impossibly high-energy drive that also brings in very heavy bass lines.
The pulse moves relentlessly forward, always given a kick by the odd meter, odd phrase length or out of phase repeated note groupings...