Monday, May 11, 2009

In bloom

Going back to what we were referring to last week with the interesting ways instrumental music is developing, Flowers Of Hell are that most ill starred of ventures, the classical/rock crossover. You think of John Williams' Sky, and Metallica's S&M, and innumerable Pop Classics albums, and Rick Wakeman's assorted ventures, and gulps. However there's proper experimental streaks behind this all - this project is centrally the work of Toronto Greg Jarvis, who going on promo photos maintains an excellent Frank Zappa moustache, accompanied by up to thirty musicians of a transatlantic hue with varied but mostly sonically expansive backgrounds, including people who's worked with Spacemen 3, Spiritualised, the Patti Smith Group, British Sea Power, Bat For Lashes, Death In Vegas, Broken Social Scene, the Earlies, Hidden Cameras and Tindersticks. Pete 'Sonic Boom' Kember and Owen 'Final Fantasy' Pallett have also joined them live in the past and they've opened for My Bloody Valentine, Dean & Britta (to all intents and purposes Luna) and Asobi Seksu.

Obviously the fact the album Come Hell Or High Water is partly an experiment in shaping music to synaesthesic visions might put some casual observers off, but stick with it. It's post-rock/space-rock/shoegaze territory with an orchestral bent, but insomuch as the string section phrases are repetitive and hypnotic like John Cale experiments, the percussion is strident and the arrangements throw up something new every time. It even features a Jesus & Mary Chain cover. Like mid-90s Spiritualized meets Stravinsky, it sounds at home even on Scottish electronica label Benbecula, who put it out last month.

Flowers Of Hell - Opus 66 (Part 1)
Flowers Of Hell - Past Tense

And this is them recorded live in Aberdeen in February, and this is just the seven of them:

No comments: