What is Alpendub?

Beats and bleats? Well, imagine sitting in an alpine meadow listening to the idyllic sounds of yodelling, zither and mouth harmonica when in parachute a bunch of freaks to nice up the dance. Tradition through prismatic glasses. This is Alpendub.

Alpendub is produced, edited and mixed by Robert Cummings.

Some of the featured musicians with Alpendub have included:
Kutzkelina – vocals, yodelling
Ian Beaty – electric bass, vocals
Moe Jaksch – zither
Stefan Jansen – trumpet, fluegelhorn
Klaus Janek – double-bass, pocket trumpet
Miles Stone – voice
Malcolm Arison – mouth harmonica, e-guitar
Carsten Wegener – alpenbanjo, maultrommel (jaw harp)
Robert Cummings – drum set, electronics, cowbells, percussion

… a melding of musical minds between Canada and the German-speaking zone. The mountains and meadows may be a figment of our imaginations but they’re there nonetheless …

It’s All in Your Imagination

Well, imagine sitting in an alpine meadow listening to the idyllic sounds of yodelling, zither, mouth harmonica and contrabass when in parachute a bunch of freaks with their beats and electronic gear to nice up the dance. Some might say: it’s lederhosen at the controls. And it’s definitely something you’ve never heard before. But once you listen for a while, you notice that the whole mixture is more obvious than it initially appears on paper. The first yodlers were already experimenting with the echos of their mountain valleys just as Jamaican dub pioneers like King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry used electronic delays to add new dimensions to their local dub plates. Yo-delay-eeee-huuuu…

Alpendub was born in the brain of Canadian musician/producer Robert Cummings sometime in 2001 in Berlin, Germany. In a discussion with an Austrian friend, the challenge was put forth whether there anything interesting that could be done with elements from Central European alpine music in an electronic music context. After a short period of experimentation and contemplation, it was clear that yodelling—together with zither, hackbrett, and accordion—worked perfectly in a dub music vein. And since the mountainous ranges such as the Alps probably served as THE original echo machine, a chance meeting between a dub meister and alpine folk musicians is not only plausible, the results sound great!

The initial Alpendub tracks were composed using samples from old folkloric yodel and polka records but this soon expanded into incorporating live vocals and instrumentation. The band’s first full-fledged release (Jo-Delay) was the result of collaborations with German yodeller/actress Kutzkelina, German zitherist extraordinaire Moe Jaksch, harp player Malcolm Arison aka Hank Williamson from The BossHoss, and Tirolian double-bassist Klaus Janek.