Orchestra of Spheres
Vibration Animal Sex Brain Music
(Sound Explorers/Fire Records)
Three years after the release of their debut album, Nonagonic Now, exploratory Wellington quartet Orchestra of Spheres return with their second album, Vibration Animal Sex Brain Music, again released locally via their own Sound Explorers imprint and internationally through prestigious UK label Fire Records.
Building on the intoxicating mixture of avant-garde experimentalism, rhythms cribbed from contemporary African electronica, and doom folk sensibilities that were evident throughout Nonagonic Now, Vibration Animal Sex Brain Music sees the band refining this musical interzone. Recorded with vintage gear onto a 24-track tape at Outside Inside Studios in Italy by Mojo Matt Bordin, the 11 songs included are drenched in crunchy garage-rock sonics.
‘Kairo’ kicks off with a pitch-shifted synth wail, bursting into a complex display of interlocked melody and groove redolent of the electronic edges of post-rock. ‘Journey’ sees a spaghetti-western riff presage a frantically paced song structure heavy on wildcat guitar and drifting yet eloquent vocals. In summary, they’ve done it again – gifting us an album well worth returning to.
(Wonderful Noise/Bastard Jazz/Jakarta)
Curiosities is the second album from Wellington musician/producer Lord Echo, best known for playing guitar in The Black Seeds as Mike Fabulous. Fluent in both mid-20th-century production techniques and the impulses that drive modern club music, he further develops his idiosyncratic soundworld in Curiosities.
Taking us on a veritable tiki-tour through refreshingly adventurous takes on acid jazz, psychedelic dub, boogie funk, disco and reggae, Fabulous mixes original compositions with covers, calling on support from vocalists Toby Laing, Leila Adu, Mara TK and Lisa Tomlins. In the process, he has crafted a series of songs, which while worldly, are inextricably rooted within the more soulful side of the Wellington live-music scene.
In ‘Digital Haircut’, Fabulous teleports us back to the hyper-colourful 1980s electro scene in New York. Inversely, ‘Street Knowledge’ is an exercise in slick pimp strut juxtaposed with vintage reggae. On ‘Put It In My Head’ Fabulous gives us a horn-heavy take on soulful house, with subtle arpeggio synths breaking into shapes redolent of ‘Dust’ by Recloose and Joe Dukie. Recommended.[info]
December Live Music Recommendations
On Sunday 1 December, Auckland rapper-cum-poet-cum-writer Tourettes teams up with local hip-hop artist Name UL for an EP launch at Puppies as part of Square Wave Festival 2013. On Wednesday 4 December, multi-platinum Australian soft rockers Air Supply perform at the St James Theatre. On Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 December, legendary Canadian singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, the poet of 20th-century rock music, plays two shows at the TSB Bank Arena. Also on Wednesday 18 December, fellow Canadian singer/songwriter, the hauntingly voiced City and Colour, plays at the St James Theatre.[/info]