Saturday, 28 May 2011

17 Hippies: Phantom Songs - review

A band sophisticated and unusual Berlin singing in French, German and English, 17 Hippies spent 16 years in developing an unlikely style that mixes the French chanson and German cabaret with Gypsy music of the Balkans and Americana, with a dash of what either of calypso styles of the Middle East lifted. Hippies are currently a group of 12 parts and they play anything brass accordion, violin, ukulele and banjo, sometimes sounding like a cool European meet all also hard-to-categorize Pink Martini.

As these accommodating American mavericks, they are excellent musicians and a singer fine, Kiki Sauer, which is at its best here with the tone foreign gently edgy, which corresponds to the song with what sounds like support hidden for a spaghetti western. Moreover, European dance is singer Dirk Trageser tackles the influences on the backs of brass and accordion Biese Bouwe; a third singer, Christopher Blenkinsop, echoed Leonard Cohen on through waters; and there is a jazzy reworking, brass and violin of Gimme Dat Harp Boy of Captain Beefheart. Some songs more than Sauer would have been welcome, but it is a courageous and entertaining global fusion which deserves international success.

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