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Spectrum Orchestrum: It’s About Time

Here’s a band that does not follow any trends. French band Spectrum Orchestrum released their debut album Suburbs in 2014. Five years later we have their sophomore release titled It’s About Time.

Avant-garde, experimental, space and Kraut rock are delivered in a wild concoction of improvisation and genre bending creativity. Will this be for everyone? Absolutely not. And while I didn’t love everything about this album, I can certainly appreciate what the band was trying to achieve.

The first track “Three to One” is a very short collage of improvisational noise that really isn’t a song per se. It’s too chaotic for me to derive any enjoyment from but it does serve to set up the rest of the album as if to say to the listener this will not be an easy undertaking. The bulk of the disc consists of the thirty-three minute title track. A repetitive drum and bass line forms the basis of half the piece upon which sax, synths and guitar explore their surroundings in unexpected and unusual ways. Scratchy sounds and different types of percussion lead into a collage of experimental soundscapes that will likely lose some listeners. The song continues its Kraut and space rock leanings all the way to its very trippy ending. I can’t decide how much I like this piece but it seems to be revealing itself the more I listen. The disc ends with “Not the End”, perhaps the trippiest track I have heard all year. Sparse instrumentation begins the piece with some low end sounds that will have your speaker system working overtime. The space driven synths and drones create a generally unsettling sound palette which continues through walls of sound and weird special effects.

It’s About Time is far from an easy listen but with perseverance I have to say I rather enjoyed its take on the space/Kraut genres. Adventurous and open minded music fans, especially those who enjoy ultra-tripped out sounds, might find something to appreciate here.

Track Listing:
1. Three to One (1:00)
2. About Time (parts 1,2&3) (33:03)
3. Not the End (9:43)

Added: December 5th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band On Bandcamp
Hits: 1005
Language: english

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