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Songs Unrecantable – Ersatzmusika

Submitted by on 3/5/09 – 19:12No Comment

songs-unrecantableBack in Berlin again! Mind you it’s hard to leave it when it comes to the vibrant art, music and cultural scene second to none. This time its to look at the new album from Ersatzmusika called “Songs Unrecantable” published by Asphalt-Tango.

Ersatzmusika is a group of Russian emigre musicians who have added to the rich music scene in the city for some years now. Their MySpace page lists them as “Post Soviet Urban Folk” which itself asks, What is it? However listening to their music will often answer that with “anything which sounds good”.

Since the start of the 1990’s Berlin’s Russian population have produced a sound which is far more than a hybrid of Russian and European musical traditions. It’s become a uniquely Berlin sound. Travel around Germany itself and you won’t get the same vibe as you do in the capital. Berlin’s mixed up population has produced something truely wonderful.

Listen to just a little and singer Doubrovskaya will have you thinking of Weiner Republic style singers Marlene Deitrich or Ute Lemper. That deep smoky voice which leaves you sighing for more.

ersatzmusikaThe music in this album is a mixture of styles individually and borrows themes from anywhere. Tracks like “Oy Pterodactyl” sounds very pop and almost could have come from a B-52’s album with amusing lyrics to go with the feel. Where as “Unredeemed” seems like another gloomy RadioHead piece. “Berceuse” seems to have come from the 1960’s music charts. These seemingly eclectic anthology of styles comes together in a way which seems a little disjointed and would probably work better live than as a series of tracks on an album. That said, there is an elegance and feel to the whole which says, “I am an Ersatzmusika album!”

“Voice Letter”, their first album, spoke of darker themes but no less enjoyable. This one has a brighter sound to it and feels the better of the two.

Recommended! [xrr rating=4/5]

Songs Unrecantable from Amazon

Ersatzmusika on MySpace
Asphalt-Tango Records

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