Sxip Shirey | Sombule

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World: Eastern European World: Balkan Moods: Type: Sonic
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by Sxip Shirey

Ecstatic experimental circus apalachian roots Balkan sub-dub and country songs
Genre: World: Eastern European
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. All Babies Must Cry
4:40 $0.99
2. Pandora
6:19 $0.99
3. Philomena's Waltz
2:37 $0.99
4. My Own Dirge Coda
0:35 $0.99
5. The Train
3:56 $0.99
6. Train Heard from Porch
3:45 $0.99
7. Trains
2:53 $0.99
8. The Organ Grinder
0:44 $0.99
9. Black Rosie
4:20 $0.99
10. Diamanda Sprinkle
2:30 $0.99
11. Istanbul
2:11 $0.99
12. My Own Dirge
4:52 $0.99
13. Sombule
3:54 $0.99
14. All Babies Must Cry Coda
1:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Just off tour with the Dresden Dolls, real life circus composer, Sxip Shirey, creates incredible music with his resophonic guitar, regurgitated music boxes, industrial flutes, bull horn harmonica and other sonic wonders. He has toured with the Dresden Dolls, performed at the Kennedy Center, the Sydney Opera House and The New Victory Theater with pyrotechnic clowns of The Daredevil Opera Company and has toured the US with The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and his gypsy-tango-klezmer-punk outfit, The Luminescent Orchestrii. He has many underground parties in Brooklyn (Rubulad!) and he writes the occasional country song.

“New Yorkers are perpetually trying to explain the musical gazingstock that is Sxip... With a musical arsenal that includes the industrial flute, the mutant harmonica, the obnoxiophone, the triple-extended penny whistle, a miniature hand-bell choir, and a regurgitated music box, he conjures a world of infernal calliopes and cotton candy machetes wielded by Gypsy crones with angel feet.” -SF Weekly



to write a review


An amazing, imaginative journey
Sombule is a wonderful, creative, unique CD full of imagination and spirit. I bought it after hearing Sxip at a concert and was very pleasantly surprised to hear that the charm and personality carries over from his live show. Sxips music creates a mood, an imagery, and a fantastic sense of creativity. My children fell in love with the CD as well and have listened to it at least 2 or 3 times a day since it arrived in the mail. They love to dance to the songs and have even made up their own names for each of their favorites.

Tamara Turner, CD Baby

Drawing from his finesse and facility as a "real-life circus composer," Sxip Shirey's imagination for sounds, sound combinations and textural color is mind-boggling. Ranging from experimental and far-out electronically-enriched nuggets to slow and heavy gypsy folk songs to eccentric Wurlitzer organ pieces to the odd country folk song, his extensive musical vocabulary is a result of a multi-faceted background as a composer, sound designer, performer, storyteller and curator. And although his stylistic signatures may be dramatically different, with the album seeming to have many personalities, there is an elusive yet consistent character to it all; a playful, mischievous wink-and-nudge, up-to-no-good theme that ties it all together under one title. Of course, with a guest appearance by Aimee Curl on "All Babies Must Cry" and "Black Rosie," with her exquisitely raw and haunting voice, the inevitability of pure genius is at once signed and sealed. Some have called his style a combination of gypsy, tango, klezmer and punk and along with that, you could throw in some circus effects and a little giddy psychosis. With all that flavor wrapped up into one little package, you've certainly got a peculiarly addictive album here.

Jack Shear

Eclectic bohemia & psychotic circus freakouts
Sxip Shirey is a sonic curator; Sombule is his eclectic new release. And I do mean eclectic: instrumentation ranges from "solo marble and glass bowl" to "industrial flute" and "secret circus organ" and the style of the songs stretch from the initial bohemian blues of "All Babies Must Cry" to the psychotic circus freak-outs of "Philomena's Waltz" and "Istanbul" to the oddly-placed, but fairly traditional country balladeering of "The Train." Though all the tracks have their own unique flavors, my pick for a stand-out is "My Own Dirge," a ramshackle combustion of multi-vocal harmonica and beat-boxing that ends in alarm-like seizures of breath. Sombule is one of those rare efforts that manages to evade description. Perhaps we just don't yet have the vocabulary to depict exactly what Sxip Shirey is up less jaded times we simply would have called this art.