Hotel Palindrone - Samo Riba
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Hotel Palindrone
Samo Riba
Extraplatte (

cd cover Hotel Palindrone are from Austria but they dive into a lot of different traditions and then surface, holding the things they like. So you may hear a Scottish air next to some exquisite yodelling as well as more traditional Austrian tunes, or with a waltz, a Swedish polska and then Quebecois or Galician dance tunes. The target is to produce 'new acoustic dance music' and the Palindrones do it using a variety of different instruments, including clarinet, bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, flute, diatonic accordion, nyckelharpa, mandola, acoustic guitar, bass and tenor sax. Albin Paulus, "Stoney" Steiner, John Morrissey and "Nag" Natterer rove around the globe, cherry-picking what they like the best and producing music for all to enjoy. The equally enticing booklet (in German only) shows that the way in which they chose the various tunes is quite a story on its own.

Among the highlights of this live recording are the title track, "Samo Riba," with its hard-hitting, 'popgo' inspiring bagpipes; "L'Orient est Grand" with its Balkan overtones, undertones and tunes; "Branles" with arpeggios in the introduction that are very cinematic and a wild sax-like solo that reinvigorates the Renaissance tune; and "Fünferwalzer" which sounds like a Scottish band playing fanfare music at a slightly seedy amusement park. About half the tunes on this record are the band's compositions.

This is a generous 74-minute long recording, so sometimes you may occasionally get the feeling that you've had more than your share, but if you pick among the jewels included in this vibrant record, you won't be disillusioned. This unexpected surprise from Austria is a welcome inclusion in the ranks of world music. - Nondas Kitsos

The band's web site

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