Joyfully spontaneous Viennese brass band

From the colliery communities of South Yorkshire to the uptown clubs of New Orleans –and via India, the Balkans and West Africa – the brass band tradition takes many forms and offers very different sounds. But that’s not the whole story. It’s a tradition that also boasts strongholds in Western Europe, a branch of the tree represented by Federspiel.  While not as raucous as the Big Easy or Balkan variants, this particular Austrian strain retains the power to charm and beguile. There are distinct echoes of the work of Michael Nyman and the Penguin Café Orchestra in the Federspiel sound – exultant and triumphant one moment, tender and soothing the next. With their name suitably translating as ‘feather game’, there’s also an irresistible playfulness at the heart of everything these seven men of Vienna do. Exemplary musicianship doesn’t have to mean a po-faced outlook, after all.

Click here to listen to Federspiel on the Discover WOMAD 2018 playlist on Spotify.