The Great Flashing Tracks From Iwona presents the complete soundtrack of a stage production by musician Oleg Kostrow and designer Bartenew titled Iwona. A colorful theatre/performance piece played by children, it was backed by a series of short musical pastiches that ally the innocence of youth with a very personal vision of techno music and strong sampling talent. The closest comparison would have to be the duo Stock, Hausen & Walkman's most playful projects, like Organ Transplants, Vol. 2, with which this CD shares a taste for kitsch. Could this be techno lounge? Or techno kitsch? Yes, indeed, but of a genre that laughs at the face of the commercial music industry. The dance beats and paired with strange sound collages and simple melodies that hide a much more complex assembling process. Even though each of the 15 tracks is based on a different music style from the past, the vibraphone comes through as the lead instrument. Mambo, cha cha cha, twist, and psychedelic pop all feature its mellow tone. The dance (as in late-'80s dance music) track "Mechanische Hände" contrasts aggressively with the rest of the set, its insisting pulse having little to do (on a superficial level) with the cheesy detective-movie-meets-commercial-a-go-go music gracing such highlights as "Abschiedsliedchen" (just try to remain serious during this one), "Fischmambo," "Ein Kleines Bettlerliedchen," or "Skilauf," all pieces re-actualizing the contents of the LPs you find in the five-for-a-buck bins. Bizarre, cute, and a lot of fun.
AllMusic Review by François Couture