Robert Polsterer, the central figure of Scharlatöne and other groups (Umnachter Project, etc.), is probably one of Europe's best-kept secrets. The gent is far more adventurous than a dozen other composers and seems not to respect the ancient dictum that artists should pick a style or sub-mode and stick with it, instead chasing whatever way too cool vibe should catch his imaginative fancy. Hals über Kopf is just one example among many. I mean, who ever thought you could blend yodeling, didgeridoo, human beatboxing, hum-toning, and nonsense-syllabling and come up with novo-Gregorian doo-wop?
That's kind of what happens here. Hals is a meeting of David Hykes, Bobby McFerrin, Dion & the Belmonts on acid, the Flying Pickets, and a plentiful shovelful of Deuter consciousness. There' s also a good deal of sophisticated subtle humor present as Polsterer's mind is as cleverly fertile as any such irrepressible soul might be expected to be…and then some. Catch the sudden devilish undercurrent in Salamanca after a series of playful transformations, a sort of Satan on a walkabout afternoon out with the guys, and see what I mean.
Schraglage, on the other hand, is extremely Hykesian, spiritual, eerie, serious, while Unter-Walle is a Volga Boatmen of the Australian outback, and Hallo Trio digs down into Tibetan chant ritualizing, a deep resonant throat singing that gives way to…oom-pah-pah and more yodeling! You never know quite what to expect minute to minute with this disc of three (Christian Recklies and Markus Michael Riccabona join Polsterer) admixing jester-virtuosos.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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