The center of this marvelous blending of European folk and classical styles is not Robert Polsterer, whose equally gorgeous but more surreal Umnachter group I reviewed here, but he's an equal member of the, what is called, 'fantasy folk' ensemble, and the band is more than up to Polsterer's own demanding talents. The guitarist joined in 2006 and this 2009 CD brings him back, more than willing to unveil further of his peculiarly satisfying craftsmanship. Ballycotton is a quintet of strings, accordion, and percussion along with the guitarist's overtone singing a la David Hykes. There is, however, as was seen a bit more blurredly in Umnachter, a very strong gypsy/Hungarian element spicing the home group's Celtic backbone, along with kindred other modes.
All members are equally represented, Alex Konig doubling Polsterer on guitar, Christina Gaismeier on violin, Peter Beinhoefer plying accordion and contributing some melismatic vocals, Harald Binder on percusion, and Tino Mixan guesting on contrabass. Strains of Paris and Vienna waft through Morgens, not to mention Sicily, and masters like Ennio Morricone are going to sit up and take notice of the degree of authenticity incorporated in every composition, both in straight takes and progressive extrapolations.
Janseits vom Ende der Zeit is an old country tour through new eyes—one monocled with the airs of tradition and place, the other bedecked with a telescope to peer around the corner at what's coming. If this isn't already creating a stir in several genres, it soon will be. Often, it takes a society years to catch up with its own artists, though Europe is less pedestrian than we in the States when it comes to such things. After all, each continent produces what it must then chase after! That's art, and that's what you get here.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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