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Sabine Kapfinger

Sabine Kapfinger

She inspired Hubert von Goisern to establish yodelling as a stylistic device in the Alpinkatzen. At the age of 12 she became the country's youngest yodeller when she joined the Walchsee Seerosen Trio with her father. The group released a record. Hubert von Goisern, already on the lookout for a female singer for his Alpinkatzen project, was given this record by his neighbour, Sabine's aunt, not without ulterior motive. And at the age of 16 Sabine was in the studio with the band.

After leaving the folk music troupe Sabine made a number of disco appearances, singing to instrumental playback tracks of hits by Madonna & Co. And right at the start of her hairdressing apprenticeship, she told her boss: "When I have trained, then I'll stop and start singing." And that's exactly the way it was: in June 1992, the day after her final exam, she was taken on permanently by Hubert.

"I still remember exactly, when I was on stage for the first time with Hubert and the band in 1992 in the Munich Lustspielhaus. I was totally fascinated by this group from the outset. When I stood next to all these outstanding artists, I just thought: "They do not need me. No, I'm just a shy person," mumbles Zabine in embarrassment.

"We had only a half day for rehearsing, but this appearance became a magical night for me. It was also unbelievable for me that we had a bigger audience every evening - purely by word of mouth! I think the Alpinkatzen were really something special."

Zabine

Zabine formerly known as Alpine Sabine released her debut solo album Transalpin in 2001.

"The best thing to have come from Austria in recent years"
Hubert von Goisern

ZABINE - Transalpin1994 Hubert von Goisern disbands the Alpinkatzen after a brilliant parting tour, in order to concentrate on solo projects from now on. Not an easy time for Alpine Sabine, who is all of a sudden Sabine Kapfinger again: "I would have loved to have worked with the Alpinkatzen for an eternity", she says wistfully.

Sabine retreats to her homeland, climbs in the mountains in Tyrol every day, becomes an inspired paraglider. She explains this phase in her life: "I wanted to be a part of the place in which I live, I wanted to belong to the community. I became very extreme in this concern. Nevertheless, the music never let go of me over all the years. And also my vision of the microcosm never left."

Sabine travels to remote areas. "Superficially", she laughs, "that certainly had to do with recovery. But actually there were excursions into the cultures of quite different sets than were familiar to me. I wanted to regain my voice and at the same time put it into a new, surprising context. I wanted to go back to my very own vision."

However, Sabine only really regained her vision when she became a mother in 1998. "The birth of my son", she knows today, "returned my original confidence in myself. It was the grounding for the self-confidence to take my musical career into my own hands. It ensured that I sat myself down night after night and filed away at lyrics."

From this came the twelve titles of the first work from Sabine Kapfinger, who recently called herself Zabine, because "it sounds exciting and sexy somehow," she says grinning. "A new name was important to mark out a new horizon."

Actually, the record is the creative sweeping blow of a musical single combatant, who, in dreamless-cold times like ours, dares to dream - and carves a singular musical microcosm from this. Drum & bass is yodelled to, native folk music is rapped to, an Austrian mantra graces an ambient beat, Tibetan and African tunes come along in dance beats. At times you feel reminded of Björk, at times of the Lapland shaman Mari Boine, at times Lauryn Hill. And always of Zabine. She constantly surprises the listener with the new, you feel different and confused in this musical world, on the other hand immediately happy and familiar. Or, to let the artist speak: "I want the listeners to go with me on a trip, I want to take them with me on my very own journey. You must only listen to me. Then everything will be good." And: "I will integrate the whole world into my music, piece by piece. Because I really love all these different cultures."

In 2002 Zabine won two Amadeus Awards, the most important Austrian music prize, being named Best National Female Artist and Best National Newcomer. [Read more about the Amadeus Awards]