Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CD Review: Redundant Orchestra Ensemble "Strange Telephone Conversations" (Weird Cry Records)

[$8 //]

The simple idea of the name Redundant Orchestra Ensemble should give you some clue as to how this is going to sound.   It's going to be like an orchestra, only smaller as it is simply an ensemble.    Perhaps my biggest surprise coming out of this CD though is that it is not the "jazz noise " (or "noise jazz") that I thought it was going to be.   With elements of Stephanie Lak and company present there is a slight thought of that for sure but when I think of that type of music it is always more scattered and random.    The Redundant Orchestra Ensemble has more of a structured sound, more composition, which isn't taking anything away from anyone else but it just has their sound closer to an instrumental band than something more of the improvised nature.

Though the first song in and of itself feels like an album, the other songs aren't quite as long as do somehow tend to flow into one another with the greatest of ease and so I don't ever feel like there is a time to stop and catch your breath, which amazes me as I imagine these musicians simply playing without stopping from start to finish and I feel like it should be humanly impossible.   I do need to point out the small concert notion of that first track though simply because I feel like my listening to various other pieces of music has made me somewhat complacent on song lengths.  When I hear music of this kind the longer songs tend to become the norm for me.

Instruments include the traditional guitar set up with bass and drums.   There are just some sweet guitar riffs in here.  And, yes, you'll also hear the saxophone.   The guitars though provide this sort of distortion feel and at certain points in these songs I can feel as if I'm listening to a bit of Nirvana's "In Utero" and as such that does pull you into a more traditional sense of an instrumental band.   By the fifth and final song, a little over halfway through it, I can begin to hear notes that make me want to sing along to the tune of "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine"... You know the one.

While I realize that it seems off to say that Weird Cry Records releases weird music (which is cool because I like all sorts of music) I do feel I must make that point if only because this is perhaps the closest thing to normal I have heard Weird Cry Records release thus far.   In some ways you want to feel like "This isn't that strange so it doesn't really belong on this label", but Weird Cry Records isn't what I would consider to be a "weird label" as much as they just release good music.   Redundant Orchestra Ensemble is no exception as this is one of the finest pieces of music I've ever heard.

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