Sunday, August 07, 2016

Carate Urio Orchestra - Ljubljana (Clean Feed, 2016)

While the Carate Urio Orchestra isn’t really a big band, it can sound like one. The group is a septet, consisting of Joachim Badenhorst on reeds, Eirikur Orri Olaffson on trumpet and electronics, Sean Caprio on drums and guitar, Brice Soniano and Pascal Niggenkemper on basses, Frantz Loriot on viola, Nico Roig on guitar and members of the group sing and vocalize on some tracks as well. The music was recorded live at the 2015 Ljubljana Jazz Festival in Slovenia, and “Winterthur/Accords dans L’air” opens the album with a loud and full sound from the group with strong brass setting the stage before they take a deep dive into a lower dynamic array and speak in mumbled tones amidst sprays of spacious horns. The energy range is constantly shifting, making for a funhouse mirror type reflection where all is not as it seems. The smears of sound build an interesting landscape, before the band ramps up the volume for explosive horns, deep rhythm, electronics and guitar. They build toward a fascinating white noise state, sculpting the sound as they go. Like the title says, “Epic Silent” is a mostly quiet piece for the basses and soft saxophone to communicate, before a spare reed opens “Amemasu” with hollow sounding clarinet that stays predominantly quiet and steady over a drone like backdrop. Sparks of static noise give the proceedings an ominous and creepy feel, and the pace slowly ramps up giving the music an overall cinematic horror movie type air. There is a short connecting improvisation of chimes and bells called “Elecreiki” before the band comes in vocalizing on “Chhia-Cham” with the general sound conveying a dark and haunted scenario, and Sean Caprio’s emotional lead singing deep and heartfelt. They music builds in a more majestic fashion as electric guitar and electronics build in. “Turning Inward, Like a Glove” develops a brassy sound with guitar slithering and skittering around the edges. Everything builds nicely off of the feelings established by the vocals from the previous track and some echoing guitar constructs a snarling and potent solo, as horns frame the music in the background. The band plays a wide range of music, one piece can go from the most honeyed setup where all the musicians sing to extreme noise music, with several shades in between. Their meaning is self-evident, that in today’s creative music, every idea is not only acceptable but also necessary. Ljubljana -

Send comments to Tim.