Orchestra Of Spheres - Brothers And Sisters Of The Black Lagoon Album Review

The promising Wellington band really put the boot in.

Orchestra of Spheres Brothers And Sisters Of The Black Lagoon album artwork

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Formed in 2009, this oddball troupe from Wellington, New Zealand have carved out a cult reputation in their homeland, partly by word of mouth but mostly through gigging, often at off-the-wall venues such as house parties and whatever the kids are calling raves these days.

If they’d been around 40 years ago, they’d have been regulars on the free festival circuit, such is the surreal soup of influences that makes up their sound. Prog, psych, Kosmische, art rock, and what could easily pass for incidental music from forgotten 70s TV shows – it’s all in here and more.

Calling themselves things like Jemi Hemi Mandala, Zye Soceles, and EtonalE, the group deploy – among other things – a bizarre arsenal of home-made instruments. They’re more like a collective really, combining left-field riffs, asymmetrical grooves, spacey synths and eccentric male/female vocals to singular effect.

They’ve called it ‘ancient future funk’ at least once. As eclectic and difficult as it is to pin down it hangs together surprisingly well and, fortunately, it’s not all madcap shenanigans. Amidst all the noise, strangeness and free-form experimentation, an excellent band are emerging.