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A Cheeky Absinthe or Three @ Absinthesalon – Libertine Amer

So the next absinthe I need to tell you about, Libertine Amer 68, is certainly a talking point.

A product of the Paul Devoille Distillery and from their website they state:

Libertine is based on the traditional recipe of our distillery dating from the turn of the last century. Its color is 100% natural and the plants used include absinthe (wormwood) itself, green aniseed, star aniseed, etc.

Each of the ingredients is individually steeped and then individually distilled. The resulting mix of distillation leads to a second steeping with plants to produce its distinctive green color.

While this is a product with some tradition and history, there has been debate over the decade amongst connoisseurs as to whether it is a “true absinthe” because it is based on the blending of individual distilled macerates.  (As an aside, this is how the eyebrow raising Moulin Rooz from Australia is made, and probably highlights the risk of this method in that the wormwood bitterness can be too overpowering).

That debate aside, it is something of an absinthe that has polarised folk, probably of more genteel tongues.

Taking a deep breath – wow, something wild on heat. Musk. Sweat. A boudoir after an summer’s afternoon orgy.   This will produce a strong reaction in some folk.  It will intrigue others.

Amber Yellow in the glass. Autumn leaves.

Slowly we dilute with sugar. Pour some sugar on me indeed – it remains defiantly hot, sticky & sweet. Nothing tempers the hormonal surge emanating from within. It louches to a shade of a sepia photograph capturing another time and place.

As I consume I am repeatedly assaulted with herb bombs, sweet & savoury, a tasty bitterness thrusting between the anethole like a black keyed pentatonic scale.  And then came a climatic chalky minerality, perhaps amongst the strongest I have experienced in an absinthe.

This absinthe does not pretend to be subtle. She isn’t there to seduce you, to beguile you with faint promises of mystical Elysian pleasures.  She is brutally physical. She is going to use her teeth and her claws to make it happen.

I hope you are up to it.

Posted by Jonathan on Dec 2nd 2012 | Filed in Absinthe Reviews,Culture,Distilleries,Food,News,Reviews,Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Adelaide Fringe Review – Anything Goes

It was a delight to see the thoroughly undead Weimar cabaret transvestite Blue Angel materialise back on Earth again as MC. She got the crowd in mood quickly, and with her opening number of “Cigarettes and Chocolate” she captured a later observation of hers “Maybe it is better to be led by our depraved unconscious”.

Cherry Lush was ripe and ready with cabaret standard ‘Mein Herr’ – but rather than have it stand as a cabaret museum piece it was personalised and woven amongst her own tales of rampant teutonic lust.

The guilty pleasure of hardcore stiletto and leather nazi fashion chic was manifested through an imposing Venus Vamp, who like one of Blue Angels lyrical chocolates (with cigarettes!) slowly shed the hard shell over an adagio 1920’s German piano tune to reveal a silky sensuous centre of pure erotic movement.

I never had considered the possibility of Weimar-styled Noh theatre, but Paloma Negra gave an emotionally raw calisthenic performance that projected an energy disproportionate to the minimalism, all over the aching tunes of ‘Wild Is The Wind’.

This was then followed by Mathias the Libidinous who put on the Ritz and put out in a high energy Boylesque strip tease number, that was just as Dandy as his attire.

A good Cabaret needs a good dose of the funnies, and taut and terrific cross-dressing Boylesque performer Lolita La Tex took it to another level by singing a wonderful filk on “Fever” who scratched that itch with the decidedly filthy “Beaver” that left one reaching for the Canestan.

If Jim Morrison were still alive (besides being a DJ in Ibiza) he would no doubt regularly accompany Blue Angel as she showed the that musical poetry of The Doors was lacking until you introduced tap dancing, on “Been Down So Long”. God Damn indeed.

Showing you can’t keep a good man down, especially first thing in the morning, Mithias the Libidinous was back “Feeling Good” with a scarlett silk sheet bed routine that provided the slower sensuality counterbalance to his earlier energetic manifestation on stage, confirming him a performer with good light and shade in his repertoire.

I don’t doubt for a minute that what Cherry Lush wants, Cherry gets – again she personalised the song of “What Lola Wants”, made it hers (unlike some mimed versions I’ve seen this Fringe…) Combined with a gorgeous burlesque disrobing & tease she provided all the necessary sass & fun in bosom loads.

Music choice, people. Nothing shits me more than a bad burlesque musical selection – but I was filled with awe and respect when Lolita La Tex returned resplendent in a funereal noir fan dance done to Tori Amos’s cover of the Joe Jacksons “Real Men”, it worked on so many levels, one of the stand out performances of the night.

Paloma Negra then gave us an intimate performance with Henri, her trapeze bar, herself adorned in a painfully intricate shibari body harness, becoming as one with her hanging companion. A bonded aerial dance, exposed and somehow intimate and private, that made us as voyeurs to something very introspective and soul felt.

Again I was captured musically by Venus Vamps choice of Einsturzende Nebautens “Silence is Sexy” as an embodiment of neo-Weimar sentiment – the nod to the old cloaked in the new. Adorned in stylish, ubergothic vintage splendour, her Dance of Dementia connected to the emotional anguish and swings of emotion of a mind cycling between a violent cacophony of memories and stillness.

As Blue Angel finished with the Brecht/Weill “Alabama Song” – I decided I could do with a whisky or two. My demands for something cutting edge that met the definitions of “Fringe” performance were sated. Show me the way to the next little dollar indeed, Ms Angel – for I am spent.

Anything Goes will be performed 13 March, 14 March & 15 March 2012 at Fowlers Live, 9pm, $23.00.

Posted by Jonathan on Mar 13th 2012 | Filed in Burlesque,Cabaret,Culture,Events,Music,News,People,Reviews,Style,Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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