Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ratchet Orchestra - Hemlock

If you're looking to break into the world of contemporary jazz, Hemlock is the album. The third from Ratchet Orchestra in the group's 18 year lifespan, the album feels both comfortably experienced and stride-catchingly fresh. Which isn't to say that the band hasn't been striding along wonderfully since it's debut, only to point out that the group's third feels like its grand achievement, its youthful revelation--18 years in. Hemlock is a swelling set with enormous range, offering both orchestral jauntiness, and freely improvised chaos; moments of joyousness and playful abandon matched with loosely threaded melancholy; and all of it managed with a master-craft's touch. More simply, Hemlock is an expression of artistic genius, music that transcends genre. Ratchet Orchestra have tapped into something that demands being recommended in fevered tones, as if your life depended on listening to it. Who knows, maybe it does...it's pretty good.

At 30 strong memberwise, Ratchet Orchestra is no small operation. Check out the band crammed together in the Hotel2Tagno studio, working their voodoo...

More videos of the band recording after the jump.

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