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Barbara Manning über Finks "Moonshiner"

Das erste Album-Review der US-amerikanischen Songwriterin Barbara Manning beweist, dass man kein deutsch können muss, um Fink zu verstehen.
Sie schreibt zum Release von Finks Mondscheiner Album 1998:

#I've never reviewed a band's new record before except for sitting down with a friend and listening to this recording one-on-one. It's always an awkward situation because there's bound to be a blend of positive and negative critiques. It's especially challenging to attempt to interpret my reaction to music which speaks in a language i can't understand. Listening, i feel left out, as though clim peering into a lighted house watching the people move about while i'm outside in the dark. Oh, well, i'm not so sure i'd be unvited inside anyway.
As an outsider, this leaves me in a perfect vantage point to describe honestly what i hear in the Music of the new Fink CD, "Mondscheiner".

The first moments of the opening track, "Ne Menge Leute", sound like a vibrating tremelo machine impatiantly waiting for the song to start. Drums roll, leading the instruments in, as a band leader would front a parade. There's Spanish guitar, mexican mariachi trumpets, atmospheric scraping sounds and spoken vocals. The vocals throughout the album have a passive voice, delivered like a storyteller who has repeated the same story several times. Perhaps there is passion (Fox Mulder of the x-Files practically mumbles through his script and you still know he caves about what he's disclothing) but the singer downplays his voice, quietly singing as though it was late and he didn't want to disturb the neighbours. Or maybe the singer is singing only to himself, his eyes closed to shut out a lot of people? The drums are the major dynamics of this album. Subtle rhythm changes help push the styles of each song which primarily focus on traditional country, tango, chanson: similar music currently being exploited by friend's of FINK from Bands Calexico, Lambchop and Element of Crime.

On one of my favorite tracks on this FINK Album, "Er sieht sie an.." the drums sustain an easy modern Hip Hop beat which combined with the guitar loop and nearly monotone vocals makes the song stand out from the others but still retains Fink's comfortable laid - back feel. Fink is not breaking new ground with it's Music.
Fink is not even making outstanding traditional music. Fink's charm is creating comforting familiarity, like watching a movie based on a dusty western town, or a circus after dark. Maybe you've never visited the ghosttown, but feel like you've seen that old saloon before, and you know the circus performers who are sitting back in their trailers laughing about the day's events while removing their oilpaint and costumes. There are no edges to Fink's music, and yet it doesen't feel exactly safe. The uncomplicated song structures and rhythms alternate from melancholic to bouncy "driving songs". This CD would be a perfect soundtrack while driving across America in an old Ford Van. Of the acoustic stringed instruments, the banjo happily dominates. All the instruments are played skiltfully and relaxed. The songs are also spiced up with accordian, honkytonk piano, xylophone, occasional whipcracks and varius sounds, such as the man who walks over to the tape machine and shiffs before he twins it off. The CD ends with distant jackhammers, humorously commenting on the frequence of roadworks on the autobahn?
My only major criticsm is the heavy use of mariachi trumpets ( which appears to be a trend these days) particularly on the gorgeous track "Das sie weiß", which is an gentle and relaxed as sitting on porch on a warm summers night.
The trumpets come in too strong, javing the hypnotic calmness like the severe hand of an angry god plunging from the clouds above. Perhaps if the trumpets had been mixed back a bit, they would not seem to interrupt so much?

The albums title "Moonshiner" alludes to the outlaw liquormaker who brewed his illegally potent "moonshine" in the backwoods. Maybe this music is best listened to while drinking under a full moon with miles of space around you and all your cares about the music business and who -sound - like - who - influenced - whom melting away with each sip. #