by Barbez


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There was a time when Brooklyn, like Queens and the Bronx, was the butt of jokes among born-again neo-Manhattanites. While true New Yorkers never felt that way -- they knew all along that Brooklyn had a lot of character -- the smug, hipper-than-thou, pseudo-sophisticated neo-Manhattanites who had moved to the Big Apple from small-town America loved to carry on about how Brooklyn and Queens weren't cosmopolitan enough for them. But times have changed, and in the Big Apple's ultragentrified post-Rudy Giuliani era, Manhattan is so insanely overpriced that Brooklyn has become a fashionable destination for hipsters and people in the arts. These days, Brooklyn has a reputation for being hip, cutting-edge, and experimental, and one of the intriguing groups that has contributed to Brooklyn's vibrant music scene in the late '90s and 2000s is Barbez. This wildly experimental CD is not easy to categorize; perhaps Barbez is best described as avant-garde rock, but their influences certainly aren't limited to rock -- Barbez successfully combines avant rock with everything from East European music (Russian, Polish, Balkan, klezmer) to free jazz, avant-garde classical, German cabaret, and Argentine tango. A variety of comparisons come to mind when Barbez is letting loose -- sometimes PJ Harvey or Yoko Ono, sometimes Kitty Brazelton, Dadadah, Maroon, or Ann Dyer. And even though trumpeter Dave Douglas is primarily a jazz instrumentalist, there are a few parallels between the way he experiments with East European influences and the way Barbez's expressive lead singer Ksenia Vidyaykina experiments with them. Barbez can be quite abstract and self-indulgent, but they're also melodic and highly musical in their own quirky, left-of-center way -- in other words, there is always a method to their madness. This 2004 release isn't easy to absorb on the first listen, but ultimately, Barbez offers considerable rewards to those who are brave and daring enough to go along for the ride.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/03/2004
Label: Important Records
UPC: 0793447503622
catalogNumber: 36

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Barbez   Primary Artist
Danny Tunick   Marimbas,Vibes,Group Member
Rebecca Moore   Background Vocals,Music Box,Toy Piano
Nils Frykdahl   Vocals
Josh Matthews   Drums,Group Member
Meredith Yayanos   Theremin
Carl Maguire   Accordion
Dan Kaufman   Guitar,Group Member
Dan Coates   Group Member
Ksenia Vidyaykina   Vocals,Group Member
Sarah Bernstein   Violin,Group Member
Josh Matthews   Drums
Tony Nozero   Percussion,Drums

Technical Credits

Kurt Weill   Composer
Residents   Composer
Martin Bisi   Engineer
Bertolt Brecht   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Lou Kannenstine   Composer
Barbez   Producer,Audio Production
Dan Kaufman   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Peregrine Honig   Artwork

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