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coverpic flag Germany - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 28 - 01/31/99

Meret Becker
Nachtmahr
Philips Classics/Polygram

Meret Becker is a young actress from Germany. As many other actors she's also tried a bit of singing, and has succeeded - Nachtmahr is her second CD. Her first one, Noctambule was a live recording of a programme of chansons or fairytales and poems set to music. Nachtmahr is the first disk where she's written her own songs and given them a proper musical treatment at a studio.

The results are stunning. Even though the disk was put out by a classic record company, the music is far from classical music. The very interesting production uses many of the fancy instruments the studio has to offer, so production-wise this disk is better classified as experimental rock whereas Meret Becker's singing style is often harking back to their chanson past. The songs sound rather calm and quiet, no loud rock music. You could listen to this disk late at night without disturbing your neighbours.

The lyrics are mostly in German (one song is in French, and one in German with a weird Russian accent) but thankfully the booklet offers translations of all lyrics in English and French. The lyrics are often grim fairytales and strange stories, often about children and death.

Meret Becker invited some very interesting musicians to help her out with the music. The fitting accompaniment for her strange stories is made with unusual instrumentation. Piano, trumpet, cello, mandolin and percussion are some of the more conventional instruments. But bowed acoustic guitars and the self-built instruments by Bob Rutman like the bow chime or the steel cello sound rather exotic.

After all, a great CD. One that probably won't get the attention that it deserves. You should definitely give it a try.

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