70CD - Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere - Θ4

Purchase
Price:
£12.00
1 CD Set
Purchase options

To Download

Once you’ve placed your order you will receive an email with the download link, plus you can access the download at any time later using the Orders link from the top menu.

70cd cover



Listen

Listen to Time-Lapsed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






Description

Following on from the double CD Theta Three, Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere now release Theta Four early as a single CD, so excited to share the music the minute it is ready (Theta Five not far away)

 

This improvising rock group references the musical innovations of Terry Riley, the swooping exuberance of Alice Coltrane and a mastery of contemporary electronics.
 
Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere still intend a Big Listen, this time round the core six piece group explode into Theta Four from the very first track- a cinematic epic with powerful brooding string arrangements from Martin Archer and the re- introduction of his performance poetry/improvising group Juxtavoices, who chant and improvise their way into a new deep dimension of sound.
The CD continues to surprise and delight with spacious improvisations, composed pieces and all combinations in between, from hypnotic groove-driven drama to " What the hell did I just hear?"
 
Theta Four features some of their best playing yet- virtuoso horns, wind, violin and keys, creative drums bass and percussion and haunting vocal lines. Seamless arrangements evoke an incredible variety of moods across a single CD which is energetic and confident. The musicians complement each other well with sheer enjoyment and it makes for a positive and addictive listen.

 

Follow Discus Music on Facebook

Performers

Martin Archer – keyboards, electronics, saxophones, clarinets, flutes, recorders, melodica, voice

 
Steve Dinsdale – electronic drum kit, synth 


frostlake (Jan Todd) – vocals, lyrics, electronics, celtic harp, luke harp, korg wave drum, keyboards, 
bowed electroacoustic bass, idiopan 


Yvonna Magda – violin, electronics 


Walt Shaw – acoustic percussion, electronics, voice

 
Terry Todd – bass and electroacoustic bass guitars



stdClass Object ( [virtuemart_product_price_id] => 174 [virtuemart_product_id] => 183 [virtuemart_shoppergroup_id] => [product_price] => 12.00000 [override] => [product_override_price] => 12.00000 [product_tax_id] => 0 [product_discount_id] => 0 [product_currency] => 52 [product_price_vdate] => [product_price_edate] => [price_quantity_start] => [price_quantity_end] => [_pkey:protected] => virtuemart_product_id [_pkeyForm:protected] => [_obkeys:protected] => Array ( [product_name] => Product Name in record is missing ! Can't save the record with no Product Name. [slug] => The given Sef Alias already exists. ) [_unique:protected] => 1 [_unique_name:protected] => Array ( [slug] => The given Sef Alias already exists. ) [_orderingKey:protected] => ordering [_slugAutoName:protected] => product_name [_slugName:protected] => slug [_loggable:protected] => 1 [_xParams:protected] => product_params [_varsToPushParam:protected] => Array ( [min_order_level] => Array ( [0] => 0 [1] => float ) [max_order_level] => Array ( [0] => 0 [1] => float ) ) [_translatable] => 1 [_translatableFields:protected] => Array ( [0] => product_name [1] => product_s_desc [2] => product_desc [3] => metadesc [4] => metakey [5] => customtitle [slug] => slug ) [_tablePreFix] => p. [_tbl:protected] => #__virtuemart_products [_tbl_key:protected] => virtuemart_product_id [_db:protected] => JDatabaseMySQL Object ( [name] => mysql [nameQuote:protected] => ` [nullDate:protected] => 0000-00-00 00:00:00 [dbMinimum:protected] => 5.0.4 [_database:JDatabase:private] => DMU [connection:protected] => Resource id #31 [count:protected] => 0 [cursor:protected] => Resource id #257 [debug:protected] => [limit:protected] => 0 [log:protected] => Array ( ) [offset:protected] => 0 [sql:protected] => SELECT `slug` FROM `#__virtuemart_products_en_gb` WHERE `virtuemart_product_id` = 186 [tablePrefix:protected] => awibq_ [utf:protected] => 1 [errorNum:protected] => 0 [errorMsg:protected] => [hasQuoted:protected] => [quoted:protected] => Array ( ) ) [_trackAssets:protected] => [_rules:protected] => [_locked:protected] => [_errors:protected] => Array ( ) [created_on] => 2016-03-26 09:24:28 [created_by] => 882 [modified_on] => 2018-09-24 20:46:15 [modified_by] => 882 [locked_on] => 0000-00-00 00:00:00 [locked_by] => 0 [virtuemart_vendor_id] => 1 [product_parent_id] => 0 [product_sku] => 5051078963020 [product_name] => 70CD - Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere - Θ4 - CD plus free download [slug] => dis70cd-183 [product_s_desc] => (2018) [product_desc] =>

Following on from the double CD Theta Three, Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere now release Theta Four early as a single CD, so excited to share the music the minute it is ready (Theta Five not far away)

 

This improvising rock group references the musical innovations of Terry Riley, the swooping exuberance of Alice Coltrane and a mastery of contemporary electronics.
 
Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere still intend a Big Listen, this time round the core six piece group explode into Theta Four from the very first track- a cinematic epic with powerful brooding string arrangements from Martin Archer and the re- introduction of his performance poetry/improvising group Juxtavoices, who chant and improvise their way into a new deep dimension of sound.
The CD continues to surprise and delight with spacious improvisations, composed pieces and all combinations in between, from hypnotic groove-driven drama to " What the hell did I just hear?"
 
Theta Four features some of their best playing yet- virtuoso horns, wind, violin and keys, creative drums bass and percussion and haunting vocal lines. Seamless arrangements evoke an incredible variety of moods across a single CD which is energetic and confident. The musicians complement each other well with sheer enjoyment and it makes for a positive and addictive listen.

 

Follow Discus Music on Facebook

[product_weight] => 0.0000 [product_weight_uom] => KG [product_length] => 0.0000 [product_width] => 0.0000 [product_height] => 0.0000 [product_lwh_uom] => M [product_url] => [product_in_stock] => 1000 [product_ordered] => 29 [low_stock_notification] => 0 [product_available_date] => 2018-07-01 00:00:00 [product_availability] => [product_special] => 0 [product_sales] => 0 [product_unit] => [product_packaging] => 1 [product_params] => min_order_level="0"|max_order_level="0"| [intnotes] => [customtitle] => [metadesc] => [metakey] => [metarobot] => [metaauthor] => [layout] => default [published] => 1 [_langTag] => en_gb [_tbl_lang] => #__virtuemart_products_en_gb [min_order_level] => 0 [max_order_level] => 0 [hits] => [virtuemart_customfield_id] => 788 [virtuemart_media_id] => Array ( [0] => 178 ) [shoppergroups] => Array ( ) [virtuemart_manufacturer_id] => Array ( ) [mf_name] => [mf_desc] => [mf_url] => [categories] => Array ( [0] => 1 [1] => 18 ) [virtuemart_category_id] => 1 [ordering] => 2 [id] => 208 [category_name] => Catalogue - please click on sleeve image to access full page for each release [canonical] => index.php?option=com_virtuemart&view=productdetails&virtuemart_product_id=183&virtuemart_category_id=1 [link] => /catalogue-mobile/dis70cd-183-detail [packaging] => 1 [box] => 0 [customfieldsRelatedCategories] => Array ( ) [customfieldsRelatedProducts] => Array ( ) [customfieldsCart] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [virtuemart_custom_id] => 9 [custom_title] => Purchase options [custom_value] => [custom_field_desc] => [custom_tip] => [field_type] => A [virtuemart_customfield_id] => 791 [is_hidden] => 0 [options] => Array ( [791] => stdClass Object ( [virtuemart_product_id] => 183 [custom_params] => 0 [custom_element] => 0 [virtuemart_custom_id] => 9 [value] => 791 [custom_value] => product_name [custom_price] => 0 [custom_param] => ) ) [display] => ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [virtuemart_custom_id] => 14 [custom_title] => To Download [custom_value] => [custom_field_desc] => [custom_tip] => [field_type] => S [virtuemart_customfield_id] => 792 [is_hidden] => 1 [options] => Array ( [792] => stdClass Object ( [virtuemart_product_id] => 183 [custom_params] => 0 [custom_element] => 0 [virtuemart_custom_id] => 14 [value] => 792 [custom_value] => 1 [custom_price] => 0 [custom_param] => ) ) [display] => ) ) [customsChilds] => Array ( ) [prices] => Array ( [costPrice] => 12.00000 [basePrice] => 12 [basePriceVariant] => 12 [basePriceWithTax] => 0 [discountedPriceWithoutTax] => 0 [priceBeforeTax] => 12 [salesPrice] => 12 [taxAmount] => 0 [salesPriceWithDiscount] => 0 [salesPriceTemp] => 12 [discountAmount] => 0 [priceWithoutTax] => 12 [variantModification] => 0 [DBTax] => Array ( ) [Tax] => Array ( ) [DATax] => Array ( ) ) [product_template] => [customfieldsSorted] => Array ( [performers] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [virtuemart_custom_id] => 4 [custom_element] => 0 [custom_params] => 0 [custom_parent_id] => 0 [admin_only] => 0 [custom_title] => Performers [custom_tip] => [value] => [custom_field_desc] => [field_type] => X [is_list] => 0 [is_hidden] => 0 [layout_pos] => performers [published] => 1 [virtuemart_customfield_id] => 790 [custom_value] =>

Martin Archer – keyboards, electronics, saxophones, clarinets, flutes, recorders, melodica, voice

 
Steve Dinsdale – electronic drum kit, synth 


frostlake (Jan Todd) – vocals, lyrics, electronics, celtic harp, luke harp, korg wave drum, keyboards, 
bowed electroacoustic bass, idiopan 


Yvonna Magda – violin, electronics 


Walt Shaw – acoustic percussion, electronics, voice

 
Terry Todd – bass and electroacoustic bass guitars

[custom_param] => [custom_price] => [ordering] => 0 [display] =>

Martin Archer – keyboards, electronics, saxophones, clarinets, flutes, recorders, melodica, voice

 
Steve Dinsdale – electronic drum kit, synth 


frostlake (Jan Todd) – vocals, lyrics, electronics, celtic harp, luke harp, korg wave drum, keyboards, 
bowed electroacoustic bass, idiopan 


Yvonna Magda – violin, electronics 


Walt Shaw – acoustic percussion, electronics, voice

 
Terry Todd – bass and electroacoustic bass guitars

) ) [reviews] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [virtuemart_custom_id] => 7 [custom_element] => 0 [custom_params] => 0 [custom_parent_id] => 0 [admin_only] => 0 [custom_title] => Reviews [custom_tip] => [value] => [custom_field_desc] => [field_type] => X [is_list] => 0 [is_hidden] => 0 [layout_pos] => reviews [published] => 1 [virtuemart_customfield_id] => 788 [custom_value] =>

Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere from Sheffield, UK with their new album, "Theta Four". The ensemble performs mostly instrumental, complex, dense, theatrically metaphorical and cinematically picturesque Structured Improvisation Music combining lots of influences from various Jazz, Rock, and Classical schools and traditions. Definitely recommended for lovers experimentalism, innovations, and beautiful weirdness in music art.. - R A I G blogspot

 

 

 

Spare me for a few minutes to tell you about an amazing album that came out last month. This album is θ4 (Theta Four), by the incredible Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere. This experimental album takes you many places, from the atmospheric, almost ambient and contemplative, nebulous threnodies to the upbeat, vigorous, and eclectic parts more reminiscent of some of the more creative progressive rock of the 70s. This album is fabulous and deserves your attention for every minute of its runtime. - Dave Tremblay, HEAVYBLOGISHEAVY

 

 

One of the many symbolic meanings of ‘θ’ (theta), the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet, is to signify a special function of several complex variables, and this would seem to apply to the rarefied sonic world of spacious improvisational rock group Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere, whose fourth album to be preceded with “θ”, and their fourth excursion into the sonic wastelands of ego-free music making, I am attempting to dissect here.

Led by the seemingly workaholic Martin Archer in that hive of alternative culture known to us plebs as “Sheffield”, Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere is the closest Martin gets to rock music, among his many other strange, beautiful, occasionally terrifying, and sometimes merely baffling musical outlets. All of this is curated through his long running alternative music label Discus Music. Follow this Bandcamp link for more info.

Dense, but in a good way, this music is also entwining and entangling this willing listener, and it takes me a while to find my way through. We are greeted on departure by hints of an altered state Alice Coltrane, and after an infinitely long journey on the mothership that lasts about a minute we later find ourselves lost in the thickets of a blue frond jungle on the seventh planet of an as yet undiscovered star in the belt of Orion, and it is safe to say that θ4 is best navigated through with an open mind.

Several surprises present themselves, not least the appearance of solid melodic constructions out of the cosmic melange. Particularly so the jazz ensemble blowing through the loose funk rhythms of Essential Light, a tune that would not appear out of place on a Kamasi Washington album. Terry Todd’s loping and loose bass funk is embellished with Steve Dinsdale’s and/or Walt Shaw’s chattering percussion, skittering around the solid bottom end as would several small critters around a recently replenished garden bird table.

This is a pointer that θ4 is more structured than its three predecessors, and unlike those gargantuan blasts of mighty improvisational heft, this is a single CD, so the band have a mere 78 minutes 40 seconds to get their message across. Focus (no, not the band, darn it!) is the key. With their collective eye on the prize, this trip encapsulates fine musicianship with a large sideorder of Kosmische strangeitude, just as it should be.

The track immediately after that unexpected jazz excursion, Displacement, neatly sums this up with its low-key free jazz improv piano overlaid with what sounds like someone searching in vain in the percussion drawer for that elusive set of castanets. Odd, but good! Stranger still is The Life And Death Of A Sewing Machine, where a garbled spoken word litany is declaimed atop some free jazz sax blowing.

ime-Lapsed follows that last one, and plunges us into a warm bath of mellifluous psychedelia that puts me in mind of The Amorphous Androgynous at their most wonky. One thing is for sure, you could never accuse this band of standing still, or of repeating themselves.

The near subsonic bass that suddenly rumbles out of my trusty KEF speakers towards the end of A Widening Road is a blast, but then again I am a sucker for dub treatments. Again percussion driven, this is the sound of the furry animals and the Pict leaving the cave and boogieing on into the heathen night. Marvellous! A glorious almost ska-like beat propels Nanobutterfly for a minute or two before it deconstructs back into a message received from another dimension, and then resurrects the dance. Martin Archer and his merry crew happen across a video of Sun-Ra teaching Jerry Dammers the table manners of the Saturnalian natives over a Bacchanalian feast of unearthly delights.

The mesmerising final track, Edge Of The World, is one of a few to feature the voice-as-instrument beguiling affectations of Martin’s “anti choir” Juxtavoices, and the more conventional vocals of frostlake to very good effect. Hypnotic and languorous, this chilled excursion expands into a kaleidoscopic whorl of space jazz in a manner that should leave a smile on the careworn fizzog of our beleaguered planet as we and it hurtles into oblivion.

Martin describes this album as containing a few “more commercial tracks”, but there’s nothing wrong with that in the slightest. Give it a go, you may be pleasantly surprised! - Roger Trenwith, THE PROGRESSIVE ASPECT

 

 

 

Und da ist auch schon Teil vier. Ein gutes Jahr nach dem Erscheinen von "Θ3" legt das Orchestra oft the Upper Atmosphere "Θ4" (Theta Four) vor. Erstmals in der Bandgeschichte handelt es sich "nur" um eine, wenn auch gut gefüllte Einzel-CD. Aber, offenbar war man im Hause Discus so begeistert von den vorhandenen Aufnahmen, dass man nicht warten wollte, bis das Material für eine zweite CD zusammen war. Aber, so kündigt man von Labelseite an, "Θ5" ist schon in Arbeit.

 

Im Vergleich zum Vorgängeralbum haben sich besetzungstechnisch ein paar Dinge verändert. Chris Bywater, langjähriger Wegbegleiter Martin Archers und einer der Mitbegründer des Projekts, hat die Formation nach den Aufnahmen zu "Θ3" verlassen. Damit wurde die elektronische Komponente in der Musik des Orchestra etwas reduziert, wurde doch kein Ersatz engagiert, und ist Steve Dinsdale (von radio massacre international) zudem vorwiegend am Trommeln. Dafür hat Jan Todd (alias frostlake) ihr eingesetztes elektronisches Instrumentarium etwas vergrößert. Trotzdem klingt "Θ4" etwas geradliniger, direkter und weniger sphärisch-ausladend als die Vorgänger.

 

Andererseits ist der Chor Juxtavoices wieder mit dabei (oder eine verkleinerte Abordnung desselben), und auch die Zahl der ein Streichinstrument bedienenden Gäste hat sich im Vergleich zum direkten Vorgänger erhöht (ein veritables Streichquartett ist zu hören). Eventuell fehlendes Elektronikwabern und -schweben wird daher durch allerlei Stimmeinlagen und symphonisch-klangvolle Einwürfe ausgeglichen. Auch Bass und Schlagzeug stehen nun prägender im Mix, so dass "Θ4" wohl das bisher rock-lastigste Werk der Formation ist.

 

Einen recht eigenen Stil pflegt das Orchestra aber weiterhin. Irgendwo im Grenzgebiet von Jazzrock, Retroprog, Avantprog, freierem Klangbasteln und moderner Ensemblemusik bewegt man sich, wobei Gesang, Saxtröten und die eine oder andere perlend-wogende Einlage an E-Orgel und Piano oft an Canterbury-Verwandtes denken lässt, bisweilen auch an Terry-Riley-artige Minimalmusic-Exkurse (vor allem im abschließenden "Edge of the world"). Eine Nummer wie "Essential Light" klingt z.B. ziemlich nach Retro-Canterbury, verbreitet eine sehr authentische, 70er-Jahre-lastige Brit-Jazzrock-Atmosphäre. Gleich anschließend, im kurzen "Displacement", werden dagegen ziemlich frei und schräg Töne vermengt. Zwischen diesen beiden Extremen wandert die Musik auf "Θ4" meist hin und her.

 

Von den vier (bisher erschienenen) Alben des Orchestra oft he Upper Atmosphere ist "Θ4" sicher das am akustischsten klingende (aus den oben erwähnten Gründen). Zudem kommt die Musik etwas erdiger und jazz-lastiger daher. Auch wenn freiformatig-schwebende Momente immer noch reichlich vorhanden sind (man höre z.B. "A widening road"), hat sich doch der Jazz-, Rock- und Prog-Anteil erhöht. Krautiges oder Postrockartiges ist dagegen kaum noch zu vernehmen. In diesem neu gesteckten klanglichen Rahmen ist die Musik von Martin Archer und Kollegen aber immer noch sehr farbig, ausgesprochen komplex verwoben, vielschichtig und abwechslungsreich ausgefallen, ähnelt hier doch kein Stück dem anderen, und sind die Musiker weiterhin sehr virtuos am musizieren. Kurzum: Eine weitere ziemlich einzigartige Sammlung von einer der interessantesten derzeit tätigen Formationen die wirklich progressive Rockmusik machen.

 

 

Wer die Musik des Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere noch nicht kennt, der sollte spätestens jetzt etwas daran ändern und mit diesem Album in die Klangwelt des Projekts einsteigen. Bei Gefallen kann man sich dann nach hinten durcharbeiten. Ich freue mich dagegen schon auf "Θ5". - Achim Breiling, Babyblaue Seiten

 

[custom_param] => [custom_price] => [ordering] => 1 [display] =>

Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere from Sheffield, UK with their new album, "Theta Four". The ensemble performs mostly instrumental, complex, dense, theatrically metaphorical and cinematically picturesque Structured Improvisation Music combining lots of influences from various Jazz, Rock, and Classical schools and traditions. Definitely recommended for lovers experimentalism, innovations, and beautiful weirdness in music art.. - R A I G blogspot

 

 

 

Spare me for a few minutes to tell you about an amazing album that came out last month. This album is θ4 (Theta Four), by the incredible Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere. This experimental album takes you many places, from the atmospheric, almost ambient and contemplative, nebulous threnodies to the upbeat, vigorous, and eclectic parts more reminiscent of some of the more creative progressive rock of the 70s. This album is fabulous and deserves your attention for every minute of its runtime. - Dave Tremblay, HEAVYBLOGISHEAVY

 

 

One of the many symbolic meanings of ‘θ’ (theta), the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet, is to signify a special function of several complex variables, and this would seem to apply to the rarefied sonic world of spacious improvisational rock group Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere, whose fourth album to be preceded with “θ”, and their fourth excursion into the sonic wastelands of ego-free music making, I am attempting to dissect here.

Led by the seemingly workaholic Martin Archer in that hive of alternative culture known to us plebs as “Sheffield”, Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere is the closest Martin gets to rock music, among his many other strange, beautiful, occasionally terrifying, and sometimes merely baffling musical outlets. All of this is curated through his long running alternative music label Discus Music. Follow this Bandcamp link for more info.

Dense, but in a good way, this music is also entwining and entangling this willing listener, and it takes me a while to find my way through. We are greeted on departure by hints of an altered state Alice Coltrane, and after an infinitely long journey on the mothership that lasts about a minute we later find ourselves lost in the thickets of a blue frond jungle on the seventh planet of an as yet undiscovered star in the belt of Orion, and it is safe to say that θ4 is best navigated through with an open mind.

Several surprises present themselves, not least the appearance of solid melodic constructions out of the cosmic melange. Particularly so the jazz ensemble blowing through the loose funk rhythms of Essential Light, a tune that would not appear out of place on a Kamasi Washington album. Terry Todd’s loping and loose bass funk is embellished with Steve Dinsdale’s and/or Walt Shaw’s chattering percussion, skittering around the solid bottom end as would several small critters around a recently replenished garden bird table.

This is a pointer that θ4 is more structured than its three predecessors, and unlike those gargantuan blasts of mighty improvisational heft, this is a single CD, so the band have a mere 78 minutes 40 seconds to get their message across. Focus (no, not the band, darn it!) is the key. With their collective eye on the prize, this trip encapsulates fine musicianship with a large sideorder of Kosmische strangeitude, just as it should be.

The track immediately after that unexpected jazz excursion, Displacement, neatly sums this up with its low-key free jazz improv piano overlaid with what sounds like someone searching in vain in the percussion drawer for that elusive set of castanets. Odd, but good! Stranger still is The Life And Death Of A Sewing Machine, where a garbled spoken word litany is declaimed atop some free jazz sax blowing.

ime-Lapsed follows that last one, and plunges us into a warm bath of mellifluous psychedelia that puts me in mind of The Amorphous Androgynous at their most wonky. One thing is for sure, you could never accuse this band of standing still, or of repeating themselves.

The near subsonic bass that suddenly rumbles out of my trusty KEF speakers towards the end of A Widening Road is a blast, but then again I am a sucker for dub treatments. Again percussion driven, this is the sound of the furry animals and the Pict leaving the cave and boogieing on into the heathen night. Marvellous! A glorious almost ska-like beat propels Nanobutterfly for a minute or two before it deconstructs back into a message received from another dimension, and then resurrects the dance. Martin Archer and his merry crew happen across a video of Sun-Ra teaching Jerry Dammers the table manners of the Saturnalian natives over a Bacchanalian feast of unearthly delights.

The mesmerising final track, Edge Of The World, is one of a few to feature the voice-as-instrument beguiling affectations of Martin’s “anti choir” Juxtavoices, and the more conventional vocals of frostlake to very good effect. Hypnotic and languorous, this chilled excursion expands into a kaleidoscopic whorl of space jazz in a manner that should leave a smile on the careworn fizzog of our beleaguered planet as we and it hurtles into oblivion.

Martin describes this album as containing a few “more commercial tracks”, but there’s nothing wrong with that in the slightest. Give it a go, you may be pleasantly surprised! - Roger Trenwith, THE PROGRESSIVE ASPECT

 

 

 

Und da ist auch schon Teil vier. Ein gutes Jahr nach dem Erscheinen von "Θ3" legt das Orchestra oft the Upper Atmosphere "Θ4" (Theta Four) vor. Erstmals in der Bandgeschichte handelt es sich "nur" um eine, wenn auch gut gefüllte Einzel-CD. Aber, offenbar war man im Hause Discus so begeistert von den vorhandenen Aufnahmen, dass man nicht warten wollte, bis das Material für eine zweite CD zusammen war. Aber, so kündigt man von Labelseite an, "Θ5" ist schon in Arbeit.

 

Im Vergleich zum Vorgängeralbum haben sich besetzungstechnisch ein paar Dinge verändert. Chris Bywater, langjähriger Wegbegleiter Martin Archers und einer der Mitbegründer des Projekts, hat die Formation nach den Aufnahmen zu "Θ3" verlassen. Damit wurde die elektronische Komponente in der Musik des Orchestra etwas reduziert, wurde doch kein Ersatz engagiert, und ist Steve Dinsdale (von radio massacre international) zudem vorwiegend am Trommeln. Dafür hat Jan Todd (alias frostlake) ihr eingesetztes elektronisches Instrumentarium etwas vergrößert. Trotzdem klingt "Θ4" etwas geradliniger, direkter und weniger sphärisch-ausladend als die Vorgänger.

 

Andererseits ist der Chor Juxtavoices wieder mit dabei (oder eine verkleinerte Abordnung desselben), und auch die Zahl der ein Streichinstrument bedienenden Gäste hat sich im Vergleich zum direkten Vorgänger erhöht (ein veritables Streichquartett ist zu hören). Eventuell fehlendes Elektronikwabern und -schweben wird daher durch allerlei Stimmeinlagen und symphonisch-klangvolle Einwürfe ausgeglichen. Auch Bass und Schlagzeug stehen nun prägender im Mix, so dass "Θ4" wohl das bisher rock-lastigste Werk der Formation ist.

 

Einen recht eigenen Stil pflegt das Orchestra aber weiterhin. Irgendwo im Grenzgebiet von Jazzrock, Retroprog, Avantprog, freierem Klangbasteln und moderner Ensemblemusik bewegt man sich, wobei Gesang, Saxtröten und die eine oder andere perlend-wogende Einlage an E-Orgel und Piano oft an Canterbury-Verwandtes denken lässt, bisweilen auch an Terry-Riley-artige Minimalmusic-Exkurse (vor allem im abschließenden "Edge of the world"). Eine Nummer wie "Essential Light" klingt z.B. ziemlich nach Retro-Canterbury, verbreitet eine sehr authentische, 70er-Jahre-lastige Brit-Jazzrock-Atmosphäre. Gleich anschließend, im kurzen "Displacement", werden dagegen ziemlich frei und schräg Töne vermengt. Zwischen diesen beiden Extremen wandert die Musik auf "Θ4" meist hin und her.

 

Von den vier (bisher erschienenen) Alben des Orchestra oft he Upper Atmosphere ist "Θ4" sicher das am akustischsten klingende (aus den oben erwähnten Gründen). Zudem kommt die Musik etwas erdiger und jazz-lastiger daher. Auch wenn freiformatig-schwebende Momente immer noch reichlich vorhanden sind (man höre z.B. "A widening road"), hat sich doch der Jazz-, Rock- und Prog-Anteil erhöht. Krautiges oder Postrockartiges ist dagegen kaum noch zu vernehmen. In diesem neu gesteckten klanglichen Rahmen ist die Musik von Martin Archer und Kollegen aber immer noch sehr farbig, ausgesprochen komplex verwoben, vielschichtig und abwechslungsreich ausgefallen, ähnelt hier doch kein Stück dem anderen, und sind die Musiker weiterhin sehr virtuos am musizieren. Kurzum: Eine weitere ziemlich einzigartige Sammlung von einer der interessantesten derzeit tätigen Formationen die wirklich progressive Rockmusik machen.

 

 

Wer die Musik des Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere noch nicht kennt, der sollte spätestens jetzt etwas daran ändern und mit diesem Album in die Klangwelt des Projekts einsteigen. Bei Gefallen kann man sich dann nach hinten durcharbeiten. Ich freue mich dagegen schon auf "Θ5". - Achim Breiling, Babyblaue Seiten

 

) ) [listen] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [virtuemart_custom_id] => 6 [custom_element] => 0 [custom_params] => 0 [custom_parent_id] => 0 [admin_only] => 0 [custom_title] => MP3 Player [custom_tip] => Listen to a sample of this track [value] => [custom_field_desc] => [field_type] => X [is_list] => 0 [is_hidden] => 0 [layout_pos] => listen [published] => 1 [virtuemart_customfield_id] => 789 [custom_value] =>

Listen to Time-Lapsed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[custom_param] => [custom_price] => [ordering] => 2 [display] =>

Listen to Time-Lapsed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

) ) [normal] => Array ( ) ) [event] => stdClass Object ( [afterDisplayTitle] => [beforeDisplayContent] => [afterDisplayContent] => ) [images] => Array ( [0] => VmImage Object ( [media_attributes] => 0 [setRole] => [_foldersToTest:VmMediaHandler:private] => Array ( [0] => /home/discusmu/public_html/images/stories/virtuemart/product/ [1] => /home/discusmu/public_html/images/stories/virtuemart/product/resized/ ) [_actions:VmMediaHandler:private] => Array ( ) [_mLocation:VmMediaHandler:private] => Array ( ) [_hidden:VmMediaHandler:private] => Array ( ) [virtuemart_media_id] => 178 [theme_url] => http://www.discus-music.co.uk/components/com_virtuemart/ [virtuemart_vendor_id] => 1 [file_title] => 70cd cover.jpg_product_product [file_description] => [file_meta] => [file_mimetype] => image/jpeg [file_type] => product [file_url] => images/stories/virtuemart/product/70cd cover.jpg [file_url_thumb] => images/stories/virtuemart/product/resized/70cd cover_119x119.jpg [published] => 1 [file_is_downloadable] => 0 [file_is_forSale] => 0 [file_is_product_image] => 0 [shared] => 0 [file_params] => [_translatable] => [_tablePreFix] => [created_on] => 2018-09-24 20:46:15 [created_by] => 882 [modified_on] => 2018-09-24 20:46:15 [modified_by] => 882 [locked_on] => 0000-00-00 00:00:00 [locked_by] => 0 [file_url_folder] => images/stories/virtuemart/product/ [file_path_folder] => images/stories/virtuemart/product/ [file_url_folder_thumb] => images/stories/virtuemart/product/resized/ [file_name] => 70cd cover [file_extension] => jpg [media_role] => file_is_displayable ) ) [neighbours] => Array ( [previous] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [virtuemart_product_id] => 189 [product_name] => 69CD - Rophonic - In With The Out Crowd - CD plus free download ) ) [next] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [virtuemart_product_id] => 186 [product_name] => 71CD - Laura Cole - Enough - CD plus free download ) ) ) )



Reviews

Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere from Sheffield, UK with their new album, "Theta Four". The ensemble performs mostly instrumental, complex, dense, theatrically metaphorical and cinematically picturesque Structured Improvisation Music combining lots of influences from various Jazz, Rock, and Classical schools and traditions. Definitely recommended for lovers experimentalism, innovations, and beautiful weirdness in music art.. - R A I G blogspot

 

 

 

Spare me for a few minutes to tell you about an amazing album that came out last month. This album is θ4 (Theta Four), by the incredible Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere. This experimental album takes you many places, from the atmospheric, almost ambient and contemplative, nebulous threnodies to the upbeat, vigorous, and eclectic parts more reminiscent of some of the more creative progressive rock of the 70s. This album is fabulous and deserves your attention for every minute of its runtime. - Dave Tremblay, HEAVYBLOGISHEAVY

 

 

One of the many symbolic meanings of ‘θ’ (theta), the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet, is to signify a special function of several complex variables, and this would seem to apply to the rarefied sonic world of spacious improvisational rock group Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere, whose fourth album to be preceded with “θ”, and their fourth excursion into the sonic wastelands of ego-free music making, I am attempting to dissect here.

Led by the seemingly workaholic Martin Archer in that hive of alternative culture known to us plebs as “Sheffield”, Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere is the closest Martin gets to rock music, among his many other strange, beautiful, occasionally terrifying, and sometimes merely baffling musical outlets. All of this is curated through his long running alternative music label Discus Music. Follow this Bandcamp link for more info.

Dense, but in a good way, this music is also entwining and entangling this willing listener, and it takes me a while to find my way through. We are greeted on departure by hints of an altered state Alice Coltrane, and after an infinitely long journey on the mothership that lasts about a minute we later find ourselves lost in the thickets of a blue frond jungle on the seventh planet of an as yet undiscovered star in the belt of Orion, and it is safe to say that θ4 is best navigated through with an open mind.

Several surprises present themselves, not least the appearance of solid melodic constructions out of the cosmic melange. Particularly so the jazz ensemble blowing through the loose funk rhythms of Essential Light, a tune that would not appear out of place on a Kamasi Washington album. Terry Todd’s loping and loose bass funk is embellished with Steve Dinsdale’s and/or Walt Shaw’s chattering percussion, skittering around the solid bottom end as would several small critters around a recently replenished garden bird table.

This is a pointer that θ4 is more structured than its three predecessors, and unlike those gargantuan blasts of mighty improvisational heft, this is a single CD, so the band have a mere 78 minutes 40 seconds to get their message across. Focus (no, not the band, darn it!) is the key. With their collective eye on the prize, this trip encapsulates fine musicianship with a large sideorder of Kosmische strangeitude, just as it should be.

The track immediately after that unexpected jazz excursion, Displacement, neatly sums this up with its low-key free jazz improv piano overlaid with what sounds like someone searching in vain in the percussion drawer for that elusive set of castanets. Odd, but good! Stranger still is The Life And Death Of A Sewing Machine, where a garbled spoken word litany is declaimed atop some free jazz sax blowing.

ime-Lapsed follows that last one, and plunges us into a warm bath of mellifluous psychedelia that puts me in mind of The Amorphous Androgynous at their most wonky. One thing is for sure, you could never accuse this band of standing still, or of repeating themselves.

The near subsonic bass that suddenly rumbles out of my trusty KEF speakers towards the end of A Widening Road is a blast, but then again I am a sucker for dub treatments. Again percussion driven, this is the sound of the furry animals and the Pict leaving the cave and boogieing on into the heathen night. Marvellous! A glorious almost ska-like beat propels Nanobutterfly for a minute or two before it deconstructs back into a message received from another dimension, and then resurrects the dance. Martin Archer and his merry crew happen across a video of Sun-Ra teaching Jerry Dammers the table manners of the Saturnalian natives over a Bacchanalian feast of unearthly delights.

The mesmerising final track, Edge Of The World, is one of a few to feature the voice-as-instrument beguiling affectations of Martin’s “anti choir” Juxtavoices, and the more conventional vocals of frostlake to very good effect. Hypnotic and languorous, this chilled excursion expands into a kaleidoscopic whorl of space jazz in a manner that should leave a smile on the careworn fizzog of our beleaguered planet as we and it hurtles into oblivion.

Martin describes this album as containing a few “more commercial tracks”, but there’s nothing wrong with that in the slightest. Give it a go, you may be pleasantly surprised! - Roger Trenwith, THE PROGRESSIVE ASPECT

 

 

 

Und da ist auch schon Teil vier. Ein gutes Jahr nach dem Erscheinen von "Θ3" legt das Orchestra oft the Upper Atmosphere "Θ4" (Theta Four) vor. Erstmals in der Bandgeschichte handelt es sich "nur" um eine, wenn auch gut gefüllte Einzel-CD. Aber, offenbar war man im Hause Discus so begeistert von den vorhandenen Aufnahmen, dass man nicht warten wollte, bis das Material für eine zweite CD zusammen war. Aber, so kündigt man von Labelseite an, "Θ5" ist schon in Arbeit.

 

Im Vergleich zum Vorgängeralbum haben sich besetzungstechnisch ein paar Dinge verändert. Chris Bywater, langjähriger Wegbegleiter Martin Archers und einer der Mitbegründer des Projekts, hat die Formation nach den Aufnahmen zu "Θ3" verlassen. Damit wurde die elektronische Komponente in der Musik des Orchestra etwas reduziert, wurde doch kein Ersatz engagiert, und ist Steve Dinsdale (von radio massacre international) zudem vorwiegend am Trommeln. Dafür hat Jan Todd (alias frostlake) ihr eingesetztes elektronisches Instrumentarium etwas vergrößert. Trotzdem klingt "Θ4" etwas geradliniger, direkter und weniger sphärisch-ausladend als die Vorgänger.

 

Andererseits ist der Chor Juxtavoices wieder mit dabei (oder eine verkleinerte Abordnung desselben), und auch die Zahl der ein Streichinstrument bedienenden Gäste hat sich im Vergleich zum direkten Vorgänger erhöht (ein veritables Streichquartett ist zu hören). Eventuell fehlendes Elektronikwabern und -schweben wird daher durch allerlei Stimmeinlagen und symphonisch-klangvolle Einwürfe ausgeglichen. Auch Bass und Schlagzeug stehen nun prägender im Mix, so dass "Θ4" wohl das bisher rock-lastigste Werk der Formation ist.

 

Einen recht eigenen Stil pflegt das Orchestra aber weiterhin. Irgendwo im Grenzgebiet von Jazzrock, Retroprog, Avantprog, freierem Klangbasteln und moderner Ensemblemusik bewegt man sich, wobei Gesang, Saxtröten und die eine oder andere perlend-wogende Einlage an E-Orgel und Piano oft an Canterbury-Verwandtes denken lässt, bisweilen auch an Terry-Riley-artige Minimalmusic-Exkurse (vor allem im abschließenden "Edge of the world"). Eine Nummer wie "Essential Light" klingt z.B. ziemlich nach Retro-Canterbury, verbreitet eine sehr authentische, 70er-Jahre-lastige Brit-Jazzrock-Atmosphäre. Gleich anschließend, im kurzen "Displacement", werden dagegen ziemlich frei und schräg Töne vermengt. Zwischen diesen beiden Extremen wandert die Musik auf "Θ4" meist hin und her.

 

Von den vier (bisher erschienenen) Alben des Orchestra oft he Upper Atmosphere ist "Θ4" sicher das am akustischsten klingende (aus den oben erwähnten Gründen). Zudem kommt die Musik etwas erdiger und jazz-lastiger daher. Auch wenn freiformatig-schwebende Momente immer noch reichlich vorhanden sind (man höre z.B. "A widening road"), hat sich doch der Jazz-, Rock- und Prog-Anteil erhöht. Krautiges oder Postrockartiges ist dagegen kaum noch zu vernehmen. In diesem neu gesteckten klanglichen Rahmen ist die Musik von Martin Archer und Kollegen aber immer noch sehr farbig, ausgesprochen komplex verwoben, vielschichtig und abwechslungsreich ausgefallen, ähnelt hier doch kein Stück dem anderen, und sind die Musiker weiterhin sehr virtuos am musizieren. Kurzum: Eine weitere ziemlich einzigartige Sammlung von einer der interessantesten derzeit tätigen Formationen die wirklich progressive Rockmusik machen.

 

 

Wer die Musik des Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere noch nicht kennt, der sollte spätestens jetzt etwas daran ändern und mit diesem Album in die Klangwelt des Projekts einsteigen. Bei Gefallen kann man sich dann nach hinten durcharbeiten. Ich freue mich dagegen schon auf "Θ5". - Achim Breiling, Babyblaue Seiten