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* Marvelous Polka Haunt Us Fan(g) Review

December 25, 2011 by Veronique Chevalier

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It is with much honour that I today received this MAD-nifique “thumbs up” from a fan, who so kindly took the time to write this review of La Moi’s “Polka Haunt Us” recording. Merci, Monsieur A. J. for your efforts and support!

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Polka Haunt Us: A Spook-tacular Compilation” is one of those rare musical treasures that one stumbles upon randomly. The title almost has a ring of silly novelty, and even triteness to it, but don’t let that put you off.

The list of included performers on the project is more-than impressive enough to quell any doubts the title might convey: Lili Haydn– The “Jimi Hendrix of Violin,” on the same record as CalArts Music Professor & Woodwind Expert Vinny Golia? WTF…? Polka Grammy Nominee Alex Meixner, as well Kai Kurosawa, Japanese Bass & Warr Guitar Virtuoso??

Add to that a Norwegian Opera Diva, revered in her native land, named Elisabeth Ekornes, and toss in a Fulbright Scholar & UCLA Lecturer, named Kirk Brundage, who is the author of the ONLY fully-annotated, and academically-researched texts of Afro-Brazilian percussion in the world. Plus, many more artists & musicians I won’t even list here- Whoa! That’s some kind of crazy!

I just HAD to listen to this record after reading that partial list of Who’s Who of diverse musical talents! And I was not disappointed. I won’t say that I understood exactly what I was hearing right away, but the work certainly has grown on me in ways I could never have imagined earlier, if I had heard someone use the word “Gothic” as a descriptor for the word “Polka.”

Besides forcing me to reassess how musical genres are, and are not, supposed to be combined, “Polka Haunt Us,” is downright entertaining, and surprisingly appealing in a wild-ride-through-a-fun-house-hall-of-mirrors kind of way. Just when you think you recognize something familiar, (and dare I say, traditional?)- a tango, a waltz, a folk tune- without warning, portions of crazy polka spring out like an unruly jack-in-the-box, and take you on a merry side trip, only to plop you right back where you were a moment before, leaving you to shake your head and wonder if you really heard what you just heard!

Executive Producer and “Mistressmind” (because she’s a lady & not a gent) Veronique Chevalier has truly created a timeless recording based on authentic supernatural lore from the world over, in which the indigenous music of the country of the tale’s origin is combined with polka, creating an unholy, and frightfully-unique, yet musically-satisfying, “Sonic Frankenstein.” I recommend this not only at Halloween, but any time of year, because quality music, no matter how unusual, has no expiration date.”

— A. J. Behar, Londonderry, New Hampshire, USA

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