AMN Reviews: Monopium – The Goat and the Dead Horses´ Circus (Zoharum)

An utterly Dada journey through a distorted, happily degenerate late-nineteenth century Mitteleuropa, as if Tom Waits had dreamt Kurt Weill and Franz Kafka took him by the hand and armed with tape recorders, the trio traipsed giddily through the demimonde of circuses, nighttime theosophical society meetings, outdoor village bands, absinthe-soaked cabarets where gypsy girls dance with gaberdined rabbis and motley pick-pockets, and down twisty alleyways which though shrouded in dark at their entrance open onto fairground frivolity with a bear wearing a fez teaching Ukrainians to ride unicycles and children´s games being played by good-natured grown-ups. It´s a collage with no sense of being a cut-up and fragmentary, as a surreal, wheezy, woozy atmosphere is aimiably maintained in order from keeping you from going astray. Vocalists Emma Wyrd (of Chronique Nocturne) and Euski (Roma Amor) each emerge out of the haze, singing more to its accompaniment than dispel it. Compact and bijou at a tidy forty-three minutes, Monopium – Michał Majcher – has gene-modified these wispy strands of sepia ephemera to the thorough delight of postmodern ears.

Stephen Fruitman