VV. AA. – Twisted Cabaret


cd+dvd Volvox, VOL0902, France, 2010
This is a collection of music and video (on cd and dvd) tracking artists that are altering or simply using codes from what has been known as the “Weimar Cabaret.” This Cabaret included burlesque, darkness and comedy, and while its practices ended decades ago, its legacy can be found here in the form of modern music video artifacts. Culturally this is an environment that pushes on a theatrical and satirical anti-spectacle, including moments of self-derision (something currently unusual). It’s a micro-world, but one that nevertheless joyfully and theatrically plays with the audience. And that makes a clear point against the current overproduction of spectacle. Besides that, a compilation like this makes a very strong case: in the global mess of the millions of videos available on YouTube, or any online or TV digital music channel, connecting what seems to be a common cultural reference point for twenty-odd quite well known artists is a valuable effort. In the intoxicating abundance of moving images there’s a reconstruction of cultural archetypes used in alternative music without caring for the respective musical styles. Among the bands selected there are a couple of electronic music icons (the Residents and the Legendary Pink Dots) and there’s a clear effort to make the video section distinct from the audio section. This product seems more of a form of archiving, even a form of curating, more than just compiling. And having all the artifacts offline, in this case, seems valuable for preservation rather than just for limiting access.