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Phantom Orchard - Orra [Tzadik - 2008]

Phantom Orchard is the sonic joining of forcers of two of the most respected women in experimental music; Ikue Mori (Death Ambient, Electric Masada,solo work, ect) and Zeena Parkins (Carbon, Keep The Dog, News From Babel, solo,ect). Orra is the projects first wonderful sonic fruit - which sit’s between creative electronics, world music, quirky classical elements, sound tracking, ambience and improv elements.

Through out most of it’s life Orra creates a very  golden, mysterious, lush and at times mischievous sonic place that often feels like a strange fairytale coming to life from the pages of some ancient and ornate fairytale book- all vast magic fishes swiming in silver seas, treasure laden forest and winged little people flying in gold and red sunsets.

The albums sound is built around Parkins Electric Harp & acoustic Harp that weaves exquisite, harmonic and atmospheric trails through Ikue Mori creative, varied and often dense but never overcrowded electronic elements. With supporting roles from Cyro Baptista on Percussion; that dances with world music flavours and steel drum topical  rhythmic lushness from Josh Quillen, with occasional  jewsharp buzz from Makigami Koichi and vocal elements & real time processing from Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje. The most pleasing and rewarding  thing about the whole album is the way there pair have managed to mix electronic and organic instrumental textures into a seemless lush, play and exotic whole.

A highly pleasing, ornate and lush slice of experimental music that stays creative and daring yet harmonic and approachable.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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