Roland Schiltknecht & Alan KushanSwiss hackbretts and the Persian santur combine on this 1999 production and the results do equal the self-ascribed tag "imaginary folkmusic," but with rock-chamber jazz sonorities not yet encountered elsewhere in the emerging idiom. The ten 5 to 6 minute excursions all penned by Alp denizen Schiltknecht are bound with a prolog and epilog by alphornist Roland Dahinden, whose resonant and authentic air charges the dulcimers with high mountain flavor. Electric bass and drums modernize what would otherwise be some austere and lovely acoustic playing that straddles the new folk recital/improv line. Tracks with a rhythm section are carried with a single groove strategy that yields expansive travel textures when Schiltknecht & the classically trained Iranian refugee Kushan extemporize over the top. Further dimension is added with violin and cello and occasional wordless vocals.
Mensch Records, Switzerland
Tunsch is a handsome, impressionistic album of contemporary music making, intuitively informed by myth and the purity of folklife yet it escapes typing or direct comparison with any similar developments elsewhere in Europe. Quite a find from rural and unexpectedly urbane back country. - Steve Taylor
Audio:"Tunsch" (c)1999 Mensch Records, Switzerland
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