PRICE: $15.50
IN STOCK
ARTIST
TITLE
Live on Planet Earth
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
N 037CD N 037CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
5/6/2014

Ever the loose cannon, the Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra remains reliably unpredictable with their third album for Alien Transistor: renowned for their elaborate and intricate studio recordings, the genre-smashing 18-piece Orchestra didn't even set foot in a studio this time around, but instead returns with a live album, recorded in May 2012 at Berlin-Neukölln's Heimathafen. The new album marks a distinct stylistic departure for the Orchestra: instead of presenting the kind of sonic splatter/comic styles they're known for (as showcased on Bum Bum [N 029CD/LP]), bursting at the seams with new bits of information at every turn, the album opener features a surprisingly coherent and steady layer of sound that's more reminiscent of ambient music. The Orchestra's last album was all about clashes of polar opposites: Live on Planet Earth leaves decidedly more room for individual statements, for ideas and textures to emerge; in other words: It's a lot easier to tell what's actually going on in the new songs. That's not to say that Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra -- part avant-garde salon orchestra, part alternative jazz big band, part audio logistics center -- want to revoke or amend the bold grandeur of their earlier material; instead, it's simply a new and more collective-minded direction. Despite its inconvenient size and refusal of genre-labeling, the Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra has been a steadily working band since its inception in 2006. Of all their releases, Live on Planet Earth probably showcases best how this group of musicians deals with its own unique diversity: highlighting the individuals' approaches and statements, but working together, as an entity. It is thanks to this emphasis on a truly collective approach that the new album sounds more "symphonic" than its predecessor (which daringly veered towards techno or musique concrète at times). However, when Glatzel mentions the band's "organic interplay," this doesn't mean they lost their sense for eccentric, shrill and humorous ideas; neither does it mean they didn't use electronic instruments while recording Live on Planet Earth. They did, but the various electronic elements are more subtly interwoven into the tracks, not at all sounding like anything you'd expect from electronic music. Live from Planet Earth is a live album that not only documents a huge logistical challenge: here, the Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra leaves the safe studio environment behind and enters the stage to underscore and reaffirm its position as one of the leading large ensembles for extravagant soundscapes of everyday life.