This is a startlingly wonderful recording from a brilliant percussion ensemble based on Hamburg, Germany. The members of the group attended a Police reunion show in their hometown in 2007 and there were able to meet Police drummer (and celebrated film composer) Stewart Copeland. During their conversation, they proposed to him that he give them permission to rearrange some of his compositions for their ensemble, which led to an ongoing program of collaboration. This album is one of the fruits of that collaboration, and includes arrangements of selections from Copeland's scores to films such as Wall Street, Metropolis, and Rumble Fish, as well as a couple of compositions from his days with the Police ("Contact," "The Other Way of Stopping") and a piece titled "Mikrokosmos" written especially for Elbtonal Percussion. Not only is the ensemble's playing virtuosic, its palette of sounds and styles is incredibly diverse: "Dance Ants" is light and elegant, with a jungle-derived rhythmic structure, while "Slither" is more abstract and pointillistic, and their arrangement of "The Other Way of Stopping" draws on electro-funk, creating a sound reminiscent of D'Cuckoo's. "The Gene Pool" sounds like something Birdsongs of the Mesozoic might have written after a Caribbean vacation, and "Father on the Stairs" draws on glitchy electronica. Every track is like a peek into a different room, each one wildly and beautifully decorated in unexpected ways. Very highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson