Stergin’s Window Farm

Release Date: 20. January 2014
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“A journey of stories and song with a lovely dark euro pop twist. Think Eno and Ferry on a car journey through the Austrian mountains. With chemicals.” (says Lou Barnell, singer about his latest album GROW)

Album Review


Vinzenz Stergin is an odd sort of chap. On one hand this Austrian born, London based composer is a very serious musician. His work has been performed at the International String Quartet Festival, London, as well as the Festival of Time & Space at the Royal Observatory. He has also toured with Tom Norris, the principal violinist at the London Symphony Orchestra.

On the other hand he’s a silly bugger who writes songs about a caribou called Stu and a bloke with his face on back to front. He also has a weekly Youtube post where he sets a newspaper article to music.

On the evidence of Grow, from Stergin and his ‘Window Farm’ ensemble, it’s a blend that works well, proving it pays to be serious about being silly.
With the Window Farm’s violin, cello and percussion backing it is also about as psychedelic as its possible to be with a bunch of strings; ending up like a fantastic mix of Donovan (Barabajagel era) and Dukes of Stratosphear, the still superb 1980s side project of XTC.

The echo fade out on Jack and Jill provides a lovely aural lava lamp lighting up the inventive strings on second track Run. Human Being is darn fine psychpop and the track Frank is just completely teapots and the one about a man with his face on backwards. The penultimate track features the aforementioned caribou. Of all the tracks it is Frank that appeals to me the most, sounding like a cross between the Mr Men cartoons from the 1970s and the meandering, jazzy verse and catchy chorus technique that makes XTC’s songs so good.

But there is a also sense that his music is a work in progress and he’s yet to peak. I’d love to hear what he does with a full orchestra or using more electronic instruments. Maybe it’d ruin the warmth he conveys here. I think though there’s plenty more ambitious work to come from him beyond his window box of caribous and violins.
- Joe Lepper