(No Man’s Land)

A quartet formed by Johannes Steiner (diatonic harmonica), Amy Denio (sax, clarinet, voice), Norbert Asen (clarinet, chalumeau) and Robert Kainar (percussion, drums), DRS play beautiful spoolings of imaginative Balkan-influenced pranks that should sound delightful to the ears of lovers of RIO symbols such as Zamla Mammaz Manna or Etron Fou LeLoublan (…or Fred Frith circa “Gravity”, for that matter). Steiner’s harmonica constitutes the foundation for most of the tracks, mainly characterized by a contagious joyous effervescence that never trespasses the borders of indiscipline. The group’s footloose aesthetic allows for repeated raids through the typically challenging festival of fractured metres and scorching changes, yet the music is absolutely not difficult to digest, maintaining its core intonation well within the realms of a systematic give-and-take with the audience. This gleeful complexion permeates the whole release, which finds its bigger success in this ruffling of understandable concepts and decorations embellished by magnificent contrapuntal tapestries (check the quasi-Bachian progression of “Ostseel”) and excellent soloism, both instrumental and vocal. Neighbourly and stimulating at one and the same time, “Stanonczi” will keep you good company for those moments in life when introspection is not a must.

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