Hidden Orchestra

Hidden Orchestra is the brainchild of one man / music machine, Joe Acheson.

Joe got the bug early on – he has been composing music since the age of 8 and is classically-trained in composition and orchestration. He has played in all kinds of chamber groups and orchestras, as well as rock, funk, indie, jazz, country, hip hop, live drum & bass bands. He has studied piano, bassoon, organ and singing, and plays guitar, bass guitar, double bass, various percussion, zither and even drums. It comes as no surprise that Joe writes and produces all the music for Hidden Orchestra.

The band consists of Joe (bass/samples/fx), Poppy Ackroyd (violin/keys) and 2 drummers; Tim Lane and Jamie Graham. You might think 2 drummers is a bit excessive, but they could actually do with another one to play all the layers in Joe’s production – one of them playing looped jazz solos, whilst the other brings out the main underlying hits that build up the overall groove. They have performed with Bonobo (live and DJ), Gilles Peterson, Jaga Jazzist, Red Snapper, The Bays, Aim, Alice Russell & TM Juke, Aaron Jerome, Zero dB … and Coolio.


The Budos Band

The Budos Band are an “Instrumental Staten-Island Afro-Soul” outfit recording on the Daptone Records label. The band has eleven members (up to thirteen members at times) who play instrumental music that is self-described as “Afro-Soul,” a term and sound which – in a recent interview – baritone saxophone player Jared Tankel elucidates as, being drawn from Ethiopian music the band had been listening to that had a soul undercurrent to it, which the band then “sprinkled a little bit of sweet 60’s stuff on top” of.

The core of the band met as youths while all participating in an after school jazz ensemble at the Richmond Ave. Community Center, in Staten Island, New York. It wasn’t long before their common hunger for the rougher stripped down sounds of Soul Music brought them together for late night ferry rides into Manhattan, where they would sneak in the back door of the No Moore Club downtown to hear bands like Antibalas, The Sugarman Three, and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. It was there, in that basement hothouse packed with the only the hippest James Brown fanatics and Fela Kuti disciples, where the kernels of instrumental Afro-Soul were first sown into the fertile minds of these talented young men. Kernels which would later germinate and grow into the roots of their strong unique sound. After meeting resistance from the band director about the direction they were trying to take the music, they left the Community Center to form Los Barbudos, (spanish for “the bearded ones”) a name which was 2005 trimmed to The Budos Band after one of the boys shaved.
Daptone Records

Sun Ra is in love

Sun Ra said and wrote many strange things while he was upon this planet. The easy, mindless reaction is to just label him ‘weird’ and hide behind that facile label. Another possibility is that he was passionately engaged in and by his creative mythology, and that what he really meant could only be articulated in his music.

And as someone comments on youtube: “We must all learn to travel the spacewaves if we want peace in this world.”

Dan Berglund’s Tonbruket

In the aftermath of Esbjörn Svensson´s untimely passing in the summer of 2008 his former band-mates Dan Berglund and Magnus Öström had to re-orientate and find a new meaning for their musical lives, as  e.s.t. – the band they had together, and that had become a world sensation during the early years of the new millennium, heralded as “Trio of the Decade” by no lesser than the London Times – had ceased to exist.
They founded Tonbruket.

“Tonbruket”, the name they gave themselves, and that is also the title of their debut album (ACT), is the Swedish expression for a workshop or factory that produces tones. “We really liked the sound of it – and then, our tiny four-men factory also researches and produces. We produce tones that together hopefully result in good music”.

Source: http://www.tonbruket.com/


WIRE: Adventures In Modern Music 03 February 2011

Featuring Theo Parrish, Sun Ra, Fugazi and others… Stream or download the web exclusive  http://www.thewire.co.uk/articles/5772/

Theo Parrish

from Sketches
(Sound Signature)
Stellar Om Source
“Red Green Blue”

from Trilogy Select
(Olde English Spelling Bee LP)
Fruko Y Sus Tesos
“Botando Corriente”

from Rebelion Tropical: The Very Best Of Fruko & Joe Arroyo

Hype Williams
“Your Girl Smells Chung When She Wears Dior”

from One Nation
(Hippos In Tanks)
Sun Ra
“Earth Primitive Earth”

from Space Probe: A Tonal View Of Times Tomorrow Vol I
(Art Yard)
Natalie Berdize/TBA
“Nothing Ever Changes Just Rearranges”

from Forgetfulness
Natalie Berdize/TBA
“Forever Has No Shadow”

from Forgetfulness
Rolf Julius
“Music For A Distance”

from Music For A Distance: Small Music Vol 2
(Western Vinyl)
Jenny Hval
“Portrait Of A Girl As An Artist”

from Viscera
(Rune Grammofon)

Evil Madness
“Sexy Feeling All Year Long”

from Super Great Love
(Editions Mego)

“The Witch’s Finger”

from Music To Watch Cranes By

Patti LaBelle
“Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine”

from How Many Roads: Black America Sings Bob Dylan
“Walken’s Syndrome”

from In On The Kill Taker Demos
(no label download)
Natalie Berdize/TBA
“Monster Council And She Goes”

from Size & Tears (Max Ernst)
“Orange And Red”

from A Sort Of Radiance
(Spectrum Spools)
Mighty Baby
“House Without Windows”

from Mighty Baby

Matthew Shipp – The Art of the Improviser

Matthew Shipp -]|[- THE ART OF THE IMPROVISER(2xCD) – [Thirsty Ear, 2011]

“The Art of the Improviser”, a 2XCD, is Shipp’s most audacious attempt yet to answer the enigmatic question of what it means to be a modern jazz musician. Already having explored the possibilities of electronically infused jazz on critically acclaimed projects with the likes of DJ Spooky, Scanner, and Anti-Pop Consortium, Shipp revisits an acoustic sound for this fearless voyage into the psyche of the improviser.


Album Streaming from Wire

Scenius, or Communal Genius

((Pay close attention, creativity fans.))

Scenius is like genius, only embedded in a scene rather than in genes.

Brian Eno suggested the word to convey the extreme creativity that groups, places or “scenes”  can occasionally generate. His actual definition is:  “Scenius stands for the intelligence and the intuition of a whole cultural scene. It is the communal form of the concept of the genius.

Individuals immersed in a productive scenius will blossom and produce their best work. When buoyed by scenius, you act like genius. Your like-minded peers, and the entire environment inspire you.

The geography of scenius is nurtured by several factors:

•  Mutual appreciation — Risky moves are applauded by the group, subtlety is appreciated, and friendly competition goads the shy. Scenius can be thought of as the best of peer pressure.
•  Rapid exchange of tools and techniques — As soon as something is invented, it is flaunted and then shared. Ideas flow quickly because they are flowing inside a common language and sensibility.
• Network effects of success — When a record is broken, a hit happens, or breakthrough erupts, the success is claimed by the entire scene. This empowers the scene to further success.
•  Local tolerance for the novelties — The local “outside” does not push back too hard against the transgressions of the scene. The renegades and mavericks are protected by this buffer zone.

Scenius can erupt almost anywhere, and at different scales: in a corner of a company, in a neighborhood, or in an entire region.

Link: kk.org

Scenius in Art and Science.

The history of art and science is crammed with episodes of scenius. In modern literature there was the Algonquin Round Table, the Bloomsbury Group, the Inklings in Oxford, UK. In art there was Paris in the 20s, the lofts in Soho, NYC, and Burning Man recently. In science there was the Lunar Society in England, Building 20 at MIT, or the ever-spreading Silicon Valley.


Camp 4 is a nondescript, bland, dusty campground. Building 20 at MIT, the home of fantastic engineering exploits like the improvement of radar, was likewise architecturally boring, almost dilapidated. Soho was blocks of unwanted industrial space. Like these other places, Camp 4 was a generic space with flexibility. However Camp 4 is also a walk-in camp. You need to haul everything on your back. That immediately filters out a lot of wannabes. The absence of cars also keeps everyone around. From the outside you would never guess there was anything special about the place.  I think that is true of most scenius.


Although many have tried many times, it is not easy to command scenius into being. Every start up company, or university would like their offices to be an example of scenius. The number of cities in the world hoping to recreate the scenius of Silicon Valley is endless, but very few have achieved anything close. Innumerable art scenes begin and vanish quickly. The serendipitous ingredients for scenius are hard to control. They depend on the presence of the right early pioneers. A place that is open, but not too open. A buffer that is tolerant of outlaws.  And some flash of excitement to kick off the virtuous circle.  You can’t just order this.

What Camp 4 illustrated is that the best you can do is NOT KILL IT. When it pops up, don’t crush it. When it starts rolling, don’t formalize it. When it sparks, fan it. But don’t move the scenius to better quarters. Try to keep accountants and architects and police and do-gooders away from it. Let it remain inefficient, wasteful, edgy, marginal, in the basement, downtown, in the ‘burbs, in the hotel ballroom, on the fringes, out back, in Camp 4….

Link: wired.com

Scenius everywhere.

Here is a good example of what Scenius can be like in music, by Brian Eno himself, in his studio at Notting Hill, London. Which is no more than a usual jam between music artists-friends on a casual day.

Scenius is not impossible, you just need the right ingredients. You need the right people at the right place. And as was mentioned above, if it happens DON’T KILL IT. It can happen anywhere: In a coffee shop, in someone’s flat or just sitting on a bench with your mind open. In musical terms this is the definition of jamming. We can gather in a scene and take our genius out there. Just like Mr Eno did with the superb Australian band The Necks. And he called it “This is Pure Scenius“.

~ soundsofnone ~