Bell Orchestre: House Music (Erased Tapes) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, December 3rd, 2021  

Bell Orchestre

House Music

Erased Tapes

Mar 24, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Listening to a new album ought to feel like an event. It ought to be an event. In these days of disposable music and decreasing attention spans it does us good to be stopped in our tracks by beauty in songs and by albums crafted to be exactly that: albums. It wasn’t so long ago that an album would be encountered and enjoyed in a single sitting, whole, and that once listening was complete ‘play’ would be pressed once again on the CD player, or the needle set back to the beginning of side A on an LP so that the whole experience could be had again and new facets of music or flashes of brilliance to surpass and delight might be discovered. When did we lose the capacity to be enraptured by an album as a whole piece of art?

Well I hope not everyone has, because House Music, the brilliant new album from Bell Orchestre, is a musical event, a happening, so wonderful it almost defies description or review. Ten movements of undulating, folk-infused instrumental post-rock unfold. Strings, brass, and jazz-inflected drums and percussion dominate, but it is the atmosphere and the force the band create and flow with which is truly astonishing. Sure, members of Arcade Fire contribute here and, at times, the bombast of that band comes to the fore, but Bell Orchestre are, without doubt, presented here as vital, spectacular even. Moments redolent of William Ryan Fritch or even, at times, Brian Eno, draw the attention, but the effect of the whole is almost symphonic in vision and execution. Whether it’s the straining brass of “III: Dark Steel” or the initially more restrained and then powerfully rhythmic “VIII Making Time” that initially grab you, it’s close and repeated listening to this fine piece of work which will ultimately yield greatest reward .
So sit back, preferably with some good headphones, and enjoy one of the finest albums of the year thus far. It’s been 12 years since the last Bell Orchestre. Here’s hoping the band don’t leave us waiting long for their next return. (www.bellorchestre.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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