The six members of Barbez have a collaborative résumé that includes Brian Eno, David Byrne, the Boredoms, Two Foot Yard, Bang on a Can, the Sea and Cake, Guv’ner and Air. During its own highly theatrical performances, however, the Brooklyn-based chamber-punk outfit creates a panbohemian sound that draws from Argentine tango, French musette, Hungarian and Polish folk songs, klezmer and the occasional melancholy waltz. Fronted by firebrand dancer and husky-lunged chanteuse Ksenia Vidyaykina, who hails from St. Petersburg and sings in Russian and English, Barbez is as comfortable covering an obscure Residents tune as it is dusting off Edith Piaf or German composers Kurt Weill and Hans Eisler. With theremin virtuoso Pamelia Kurstin coaxing classical tones from an instrument most often associated with B-movie horror soundtracks, the band expands its exotic flavor with marimba, vibraphone and electronic melodies. Touring in support of its third full-length, Insignificance, Barbez conjures the Old World in unworldly ways.

Categories: Music