This all was not
Instrument and Music Magazine
21 April 2010
The music of Cabaret Medrano, this acoustic essence that brews moods of all spirits together grasps the meaning of our own Central European world. A world that has suffered heavily, got high on many very different identities and where disappointment and a hope that refuses to die live together. Everything is dirty and clean in the same time. Maybe this ambivalence that only we can perceive in its complexity is truly ours. It doesn’t operate on extremes like in some deeper fields of the Balkans, and that’s what makes this music joyful, while it retains its soft sorrow. Crashed moments roll on the street.
Cabaret Medrano mixes familiar tastes into an original, modern language. It’s the circus-character that gives the music’s weird, almost funny, elegant style, where the coffeehouse- and pub feelings serve as a basis for a vision-like picture formation that restarts with every song. In this end of the world we know many aesthetically interesting languages, which enable us to create a sentimental and thin world, because every moment is heavily burdened by our past and ego. Cabaret Medrano chooses a different path though, its fundamentally funny view is always criticism in the same time as well, there is no self-pity in this music, no sadness, yet every moment carries our past.
Not only the feelings the disc gives, but the music itself is diverse too: Hungarian, Jewish, Gypsy and – of course – Balkan effects take care of that. Unexpected changes in the usually ballad-like, story-telling songs bring us close to visualizing Central Europe. Apart from the narrative, it’s the communal role that prevails. Sounds are dominating, they cannot be played together – one at a time only. It’s a clear reference to the importance of its message, and to an irrationally great Central European ego. It’s a language characteristic, if any other instrument would be more present than it should be, it would feel like an accent. Jazz, the coffeehouse style, salsa – they all represent diversity, the very diversity in which we live, which surrounds us. Cabaret Medrano quotes, applies, includes – there might not even be an aesthetic limit, while every form it takes then puts into its own unquestionable context. Maybe it’s the most important thing: unquestionable self-doubt that cannot be questioned (note: it has something to do with the ego too).
This narrative music that sometimes operates with a staged-like audience never fails to swing between critical unconsciousness and disciplined, dramaturgically constructed narration. In the world of Cabaret Medrano, critical unconsciousness can be created through a critical attitude, parody and the significant presence of force. Every raving moment is nested in a sceptical smile, while disciplined and constructive phases makes us feel like it’s all about to explode under the pressure of excessive forces.
We are in Central Europe. It’s a territorial question, the feeling of a city, a place. Though the point of it can never be explained, Cabaret Medrano did it anyway.
(Original source: www.hzo.hu)