Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Holy shit, that's a harpsichord.

My first reaction on hearing the track Trade Names from Josh Reichmann Oracle Band's new LP, Crazy Power was "holy shit, that's a harpsichord."

I'm really not sure how to describe this record. It's one of those sounds that escapes definition, and uses every bit of instrumentation under the sun. Reichmann uses tried and true alternative/indie rock stylings that make me want to call him Canada's answer to Stephen Malkmus.

Making music since the turn of the century, Josh put out this latest endeavour last week on Paper Bag Records, home of such blog favourites as Laura Barrett and Woodhands. I actually first heard him through a sampler available at a Laura Barrett, and was at least a little bit impressed. That track was straightforward enough, especially on the compilation I found it on, filled with all sorts of oddities. The album as a whole, however, is downright bizarre. The instrumentation is as varied as I've ever heard; I can't even identify every instrument utilised. He draws from every musical tradition, I imagine, that he could get his hands on, and the selection of sounds seems to me like a far too curious 12-year-old music student at an overstocked band room. In a good way.

The track Time Chimes is perhaps the most accessible of the album's tracks, with little of the odd instrument choice present in most of the album, sticking for the most part to old standards. This, to me, just speaks to his drawing on every possible tradition. His songwriting reminds me of early Andrew Bird, but I couldn't tell you why at all. This is some of the most singularly quirky music I have heard, and I'm falling more in love with it each time I listen to the album through. You might just hear it on my show if you tune in some night.

Josh Reichmann Oracle Band - Sea At Night
Josh Reichmann Oracle Band - Aztec Hive

Rating: 8/10
Released: 10 March 2009
find them on myspace

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