Some of our readers might remember our review for Kentin Jivek's album Arsenal. Only a few months later, he's back with something a little different. Haunted Cabaret is a collaboration between himself and The Hare and the Moon, a mysterious psychedelic folk project that lives in a forest somewhere. Together these talented musicians take us on a trip through something that actually sounds like a haunted cabaret. This is in fact the second edition of this release and it's limited to fifty copies with five different covers. And the music? Well, it's dark and spooky and it's so awfully beautiful.
The intro (which is also the title track) is an fun fair tune that functions more as an omen than an introduction. In a bit over ninety seconds the listener is inside and probably lost forever. 'The Liquorist' and 'Gevaudan' are creepy, minimal dark ambient pieces, here and there narrated by a story teller. They create a feeling, similar to pictures of abandoned amusements parks from the twenties. Yet, in all their obscurity, these soundscapes are very comfortable to listen to, and it gets even better.
'Godhead' truly proves the combined talent both projects possess. Starting out as a very credible classical epos, this song combines creepy whispers with the disctinct voice of Kentin, making it both pleasant and frightening at the same time. 'Petite Mort' (which is a French saying for 'orgasm' by the way) follows the same structure and instrumentation. The final two songs are mainly stories, narrated over a similar minimal soundscape as the first songs.
The Haunted Cabaret is clearly a concept-album, submerging the listener in a world where light is rare and where something or somebody could jump you at any time. The overall atmosphere is confusing. On one hand it's quite relaxed music but still there's a sense of paranoia throughout it all. It's highly recommended for anyone who is into non-typical dark ambient. Other people might just find this a bit too weird and creepy, but then again, hasn't our entire civilization become a 'Haunted Cabaret'?