• mardi gras.bb Crime Story Tapes (CD, £11.25)

    label: Hazelwood

    Mardi Gras.BB, in their twentieth year of existence, have arrived at their narrational and playful climax with their newest and last album ‘Crime Story Tapes‘. Get Ready For 41 Minutes Of Mind-Boggling Shamus Frenzy! It´S Not A Record, It´S A Movie!! An Indian illusionist, finding himself in the Hudson river, after having predicted the end of the political career of a corrupt senator; an Austrian emigrant, paying the protagonist with questionably obtained dental gold following a routine delousing; the son of Sicilian immigrants, making his not entirely atypical career until the day of his pyrotechnical ascension; a scandal-shrouded Hollywood beauty, indulging herself by letting her favorer, Howard Hughes, spoil her with the truth-drug Pentothal... These are only a few of the miniatures on Crime Story Tapes, the latest and last of ten releases from the eccentric experimental brass orchestra Mardi Gras.Bb. Again, just like the explosive forerunner "Von Humboldt Picnic", the album is held together by a bold narrative. But this time Doc Wenz is no longer the expedition leader on an imaginative journey around the world sharing adventures from his logbook, but a slightly more elegant Philip Marlowe, a moderately succesful gentleman-detective who suffers from work-related brain damage. He leads us, in laconic cadence, through these events, peppered lusciously with clichés of the "film noir". Not without tragically falling in love with one of his clients every once in a while... Unlike Raymond Chandler, events are taken to the East Coast here. The New York of the 1940´s delivers sumptuous atmospheric scenery, simultaneously making "Crime Story Tapes" a nostalgic declaration of love to "The Big Apple", to Chandler, Marlowe and Bogart, whilst tipping the hat to the musical genres of the time. Celebrating Lindy Hop, Swing and Balboa and all the while consuming drugs aplenty, whilst Rambling Blues and Kurt Weill-ian illustrate the bloody, dynamite-loaded street ballads. One more time DJ Mahmut, the Ottoman turntable-magician, carries events into the present with a confident sense of style.

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