Fonók - Phil Bergan - State Magazine (EN)

fotkaDescribed by the record label as ‘Non existent nations Folklore’ or, Tango-cabaret-circus pop-kitchen beatbox or freakfolk, this CD features 15 tracks described by the artists as ‘Songs of non-existent bands in non-existent world languages put together during travels through the kitchen. Each non existent region has its own representative each non-existent language its own translation’

With sparing use of saxophone, clarinet, melodica, guitar and child’s piano the music on this CD could easily be total nonsense but is in fact strangely compelling. The duo, Barbora Kratochvílová and Jan Kratochvíl from the Czech Republic, recorded this album combining human voices and acoustic instruments without using any fancy recording equipment back in their North Bohemian village of Padouchov. It was later mixed and mastered in Germany by well regarded musician and producer, Jayrope from Berlin.

Although the production uses a variety of loops and reversals this CD is thankfully not overproduced nor full of technical wizardry, instead the clarity of the voices and instruments break through to make the whole a triumphal journey around the imaginary world that is Jan & Barbora’s kitchen. And part of the fun of this album is trying to guess which (non existent) country each of these tracks is supposed to represent, and whose (non existent) language is being parodied.

These songs are not so much copies of world music styles but parodies of those styles, for instance ‘France Trance’ sounds like it has used references from Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’ sung in a faux French sounding language to a louche burlesque soundtrack and featuring some very nice clarinet work. Sounds mad but it works!

Luckily the music seldom strays too far into the bizarre dream-world in which this couple exist and overall the album makes an unusual but pleasing journey around their kitchen of world flavours.

Phil Bergan

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