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Atomic Ape: Swarm

Atomic Ape evolved from a band called Orange Tulip Conspiracy led by guitarist Jason Schimmel. There are almost thirty musicians here so you can well imagine this is a 'full' sounding recording. The band's music covers a variety of styles and genres like World, jazz, '60s surf, avant-prog and folk . It is all very eclectic and very progressive. I have to say I have never heard instrumental music quite like this.

The first track "Red Tide" has a darker tone at the beginning and a kind of chaotic approach but in an organized way, if that makes any sense. Did I mention this music is hard to describe? There is an Eastern European slant to the rhythms, almost Gypsy-like in their approach and the surf vibe comes through loud and clear. Cool tune. "The Blind Snake Charmer" has an almost circus-like theme with more Eastern European overtones to the overall sound. "Heraklion" has a lusher sound enriched with cello and viola while the aptly titled "Cabin of the Cursed" is much moodier with a slower tempo and sustained atmospherics relying again on strings to create a dense, eerie sound. The short "Lost Hills" is a tranquil mood laden piece and is a precursor to "Passenger", featuring accordion rhythms, darker themes and Eastern tinged guitar. The '60s surf vibe also pops up as it does in many of these tracks.

The album ends with "Rhythm Futur", a peculiar mix of avant-garde jazz rock, surf and exotic Eastern accents. The horn work transitions between composition and pure improvisation taking the piece in unexpected directions.

This is an adventurous and exciting album from what is clearly a very talented band. If you like your prog a little on the unconventional side I would urge you to give Atomic Ape a listen. Released on Mimicry Records.

Track Listing:
1. Red Tide (4:23)
2. The Blind Snake Charmer (4:38)
3. Heraklion (4:15)
4. Penumbra (4:13)
5. Cabin of the Cursed (3:59)
6. Lost Hills (0:51)
7. Passenger (4:15)
8. Nerve Agents (3:38)
9. Refraction (3:06)
10. Telesto (3:25)
11. Rhythm Futur (7:18)

Added: May 6th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 3653
Language: english

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