Artist: Big City Orchestra
Title: Reach for the Moon
Label: Self Released
Genre: Dark Ambient/ Drone/ Experimental
01 Mental Hernia
03 Far ape father
04 Mind bender
08 Jumpin bean
Being active for thirty years now, and having released so many albums and in quite a high frequency that by the time you ask "Have you heard the latest BCO album?" you might risk these guys releasing an even newer album that will make the one you were talking about quite obsolete as far as being the latest. As the obvious consequence of releasing an album in a very limited amount , ranging between 50 to 250 copies, is that it is very hard for one person to keep track on the discography of the band who releases these limited editions, Publishing A LOT of limited editions can help keeping up with the musical output of the productive, yet not widespread artist. The question should be asked.
Does the quantity affect the quality or is this negative equation not necessary? I own two more BCO releases in addition to this one and I am happy to say that it is not a necessary equation at all, at least as far as it concerns the albums I own, and that BCO' releases indeed manage to stay focused and interesting.
On "Reach for the moon", BCO's juggling between dark and droning whispers to peaceful, beautiful and calming electronic beats through everything from bizarre sound waves to harsher atmospheres is not being done with negligence, very interestingly done and does not give the impression of the orchestra just shooting at every direction. "Mental Hernia" Begins with a sinister, insect like crawling sound that soon becomes a paranoid nightmare, as the original sounds shift and shape themselves into paces-like percussive rhythms.
This simple, straight forward introduction gives way to tracks like the third part, which blends very nicely electronic cuts with a melody that is very touching and emotional with its simplicity and grace. Almost in direct opposition with the evil entrance of the album. "Mind bender" is indeed what it declares itself to be, with a very naive sounding, yet completely insane and out-there singing tune going on and on. Although much more subtle, "Periwinkle" will share these characteristics as well. "Bedazzled" brings back the ominous feeling from the beginning of the album and effectively making me wonder whether the crickets outside my window are taking over the house. "Moxie" brings to mind "Azure skies", a brilliant album released by the label Ant-zen few years ago, with its tribal properties , and the last track adds a bit of a jazzy insight and an obscure, yet refreshing female singing voice, all this over a very dominant layer of busy crickets whistling so vividly I had to stop the music for a second just to make sure it is a part of the album and not a part of the animal life outside my house.
I am pretty sure that whether you have dozens of their albums or you never heard of them before, Big City Orchestra's album "Reach for the moon" is a worthy album that does not sound boring even after so many other released material. If I could make one wish then it would be to have a better album packaging than a paper, black and white sleeve. But from the little that I know about BCO, these low cost album packaging are part of an agenda, and you don't mess with agendas!