Brand New Vinyl
Orchestra of Spheres welcomes you on a journey through the looking glass.
Mirror, a double LP and the band’s 4th release on Fire Records, is an exploration of energies and atmospheres, from intense futuristic funk and sonic tape assemblages to windswept reflections from a far flung corner of the world. It combines Orchestra of Spheres‘ ecstatic rhythmic power and ritualistic vocals with an expanded orchestral palette including bassoon, harp, viola, bass clarinet, soprano sax, flute and bowed ektars.
The album was recorded at Building M, an old corrugated iron warehouse down the end of an industrial lane in Newtown, Wellington. Nestled between a cattery, a bowling green and the Wellington Zoo, Building M is the home and studio of Warwick Donald, a musician and engineer who’s been recording underground local bands for many years. Sounds of revving motorbikes wafted through the studio’s open windows, mingling with late summer cicadas and hungry lions at feeding time. The band set up in Warwick’s big open recording room which doubles as the kitchen, living room and occasional gig space, and put his collection of old New Zealand amps, mics and homemade reverb plates to good use.
The open recording setup and group interplay nods towards psychedelic jazz explorations, with drummers Woild Boin and Farmerboy laying down deep grooves from which spring forth the syncopated bass lines of EtonalE, quicksilver synths of Mos Iocos and fuzz laden guitar of Baba Rossa. OOS dipped into Wellington’s deep pool of creative musical talent to gather the additional timbres that take this musical journey into new sonic realms. Peter Daly’s beautifully tense viola playing on the title track conjures a dark shadowy world while shawm-like reeds gives a funereal tone to Koudede, a lament for the great Tuareg guitarist and singer, who tragically died not long after Orchestra of Spheres supported Group Inerane in Utrecht. Another highlight is Black and White, where Mos Iocos’s bell-like vocals create a whirlpooling sonic dreamstate.