Orchestra Of Spheres - Mirror CD
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Personnel: Daniel Beban (vocals, guitar, tapes); Nell Thomas (vocals, harp, flute, synthesizer); Riki Gooch (vocals, drums, percussion); Erika Grant (vocals, carillon); Reece McNaughten (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Warwick Donald.
Recording information: Building M, Wellington, New Zealand (01/2018-04/2018).
Orchestra of Spheres' fourth full-length is their longest and most ambitious work to date, as well as their most hypnotic, with a greater presence of trance-inducing mantras among the genre-busting dance grooves usually heard on the group's albums. Mirror also boasts fuller orchestration than their other efforts, with shamanic strings and colorful horns/woodwinds taking greater precedence than before. The album's presentation makes it seem like their most honest work; the members are listed by their real names rather than their cartoonish pseudonyms, and there are fewer self-invented instruments listed in the credits. The opening title track is a ten-minute raga-like procession with droning strings and several vocalists chanting about reflection and transparency. The album picks up with "Ata," where shoegaze guitars glide over skipping rhythms and monotone vocal repetitions are countered with excited, effects-heavy interjections. Halfway through, the track pauses and some Trans Am-like synth sounds cruise in, and the rhythm becomes much more tense and stuttering, ramping up to a chaotic, battering finale. Other tracks such as "Chimes" and "Omni Omni" feature perky, staccato vocal bursts over Afrobeat-inspired rhythms, displaying the group's fun, celebratory, and slyly sexual side. Returning to a more spiritual state, the much calmer "Black and White" features vocal rounds stating "Not everything is black and white," gradually segueing into a swirling, Krautrock-esque instrumental passage. The harp-heavy "Koudede" meshes Alice Coltrane-style spiritual jazz with desert blues, with lyrics paying tribute to Koudede, the late Tuareg guitarist and member of Group Inerane. More universally conscious as well as more introspective than their past works, Mirror vastly expands Orchestra of Spheres' scope while maintaining their kinetic energy and exploratory spirit. ~ Paul Simpson
- Genre: Pop
- Format: CD