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Heimlich
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Christopher Blenkinsop (chant, guitar, bouzouki, ukulele, kalimba); Dirk Trageser (chant, guitar, timpani); Carsten Wegener (chant, banjo, harmonica, double bass, drums, musical saw); Kiki Sauer (chant, accordion, harmonium); Klaus Wagner (banjo, santur, toy piano, harmonium, kalimba, percussion); Rike Lau (cello); Antje Henkel (flute, recorder, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Henry Notroff (clarinet); Joachim Litty (bass clarinet); Elmar Gutmann (trumpet, bugle, flugelhorn); Uwe Langer (trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba).
  • Audio Mixers: Christopher Blenkinsop; Klaus Wagner.
  • Translators: Kiki Sauer; Matthew Partridge; Jean Baptiste Filleau; David Lespes.
  • Unknown Contributor Roles: Christopher Blenkinsop; Klaus Wagner.
  • OK, there aren't 17 of them and they may or may not be hippies. But this German band makes an interesting sound -- or variety of sounds -- on Heimlich. It's a case of "spot the genre" as much as anything. In "Schattenmann" and "Rustemul" you can hear the Balkans calling, at least in part; "The Moving Song" mutates from a vaguely Cajun beginning into something else entirely; the title cut offers the kind of softly psychedelic vocals that wouldn't have sounded out of place in the 1960s; and their version of the twanging guitar instrumental "Apache" features no guitars at all, along with a time signature change to make it into something oddly familiar but still quite alien. In other words, it's a glorious, gleeful m‚lange that won't stand still long enough to be pinned down. In many ways that's a good thing, since it shows a band having fun with its music. But at the same time, their chameleon-like nature makes it hard to know exactly what to make of them -- as with the semi-orchestral break in the middle of "Madame," for instance. It appears out of nowhere and vanishes again. Pleasant, yes, but it leaves you no closer to understanding 17 Hippies. Maybe that's the secret, though -- not to understand, but simply to accept and enjoy. ~ Chris Nickson
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