An absolutely impressive album blending advanced/progressive rock forms with improvisation, starting from collective improvisation and layering in the studio to create a sophisticated psychedelic music, the second album from this ensemble that is headed by Martin Archer (reeds & keys), Chris Bywater (keys & synth), and Steve Dinsdale (drums & percussion).
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Catalog ID: 47CD
Squidco Product Code: 23733
Format: 2 CDs
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Martin Archer-organ, electric piano, electronics, Eb saxophones, clarinets, voice, VST trumpet
Chris Bywater-organ, synthesizers & electronics, samples, percussion, voice, electric violin
Steve Dinsdale-drums, floor percussion, synthesizer
Frostlake-voice, electronics, glockenspiel
Yvonna Magda-electric violin, loops, electronics
Walt Shaw-percussion, voice, electronics
Terry Todd-bass guitar, effects, voice
Mick Somerset-concert, alto and bamboo flutes, Bb saxophones
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1. Dominant Growth Direction 14:46
2. Paratacamite 12:14
3. Bilateral Coordination Activities Are Calming 5:58
4. Modus 11:11
5. Noctilucent 11:33
6. Space Smells Of Strawberries 9:18
7. Across The Atmospheric Eddies 14:36
1. The Breaking Of Bonds and The Rearrangement Of Atoms 25:41
2. Curvature Of The Earth 14:22
3. Rmmv Asturias 14:10
4. Potent Lunation 23:03
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"The second album (and the second double album) by the Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere, a British band whose core consists of Martin Archer, Chris Bywater, and Steve Dinsdale, among others. Think instrumental progressive/psychedelic rock blended it with experimentation. The album's tracks were borne out of collective improvisations, to which layers of composed material were added later, especially string quartet and choir interventions. I spent a lot of time with this record before writing about it, because it's long, dense, and ultimately very good. "Space Smells of Strawberries" has a strong "Atom Heart Mother" flavour that I truly like, and disc 1 as a whole is top notch. Disc 2 features four very long tracks that overstay their welcome, but I was able to appreciate it more when I approached it as a different proposition (i.e. at a different time). Is this one better than their debut? Honestly, that's too hard of a question."-Francois Couture, Monsieur Delire
• Show Bio for Martin Archer
"Martin Archer was born in Sheffield, England, in 1957. He started playing saxophone at age 15 and first got active on the Sheffield improvisational scene in 1973. In the early '80s, he recorded an LP with Bass Tone Trap, his first group. In 1983 he formed the saxophone quartet Hornweb, which, in ten years of existence, released three albums. It is during that time that Archer released his first solo album, Wild Pathway Favourites (1988) and founded the Discus label on which he since releases all his music.
In 1993, he disbanded Hornweb and turned to synthesizers and sequencers while shifting his activities from stage to studio. He developed a compositional approach in which he records improvisers soloing, then manipulates this raw material, combining it with electronics and structuring it into a whole new piece. This technique is illustrated on Wild Pathway Favourites, Ghost Lily Cascade (1996), and Pure Water Construction (with bassist Simon H. Fell, released in 1999). Later works such as Winter Pilgrim Arriving (2000) moved toward more constructed and less abstract pieces, even making room for melodies and rhythm tracks at times.
Apart from his solo work, Archer is also involved in Ask, a duo with guitarist John Jasnoch, and Transient v Resident, an ambient electronics project with Chris Bywater."-All Music, François Couture
"Martin Archer is a composer / improviser who is equally at home on stage or in the studio. His own distinctive saxophone playing is rooted in AACM jazz. Through his use of keyboards and electronics, and as a studio producer, he extends this interest into extended song form and leftfield rock music. He is also co-director of the uncategorisably avant choir Juxtavoices.
His principle music work is the Discus Music label, the imprint for his various releases, notably by the groups described below.
His current jazz based projects include Engine Room Favourites (current a 4 drummer, 14 piece big band), Story Tellers (6 piece group including shaman instruments alongside the conventional instruments), plus various ad hoc smaller groups. All of these are strongly aligned with AACM tradition and teaching.
Archer has a long running duo with veteran vocalist Julie Tippetts. Each of their highly acclaimed CD releases deliberately explores song from a different perspective - the duo aims to be truly progressive, and takes in elements from jazz, rock, soul and pure abstraction.
Archer's main live performance vehicle is the trio Inclusion Principle with Herve Perez and Peter Fairclough. The group operates in a space between electronics, nu-jazz, contemporary electroacoustic music and free improvisation. In performance you will hear pure jazz skill, electronic beats and areas of texture and abstraction all seamlessly woven into a fascinating and constantly shifting tapestry of sound.
The sprawling Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere was formed by Archer as an improvising rock group with shades of Terry Riley, Magma, Alice Coltrane and Sun Ra, very much in the progressive / krautrock tradition, and noted for its large scale string, horn and vocal arrangements.
Also in rock music, Archer is a member of the USA based heavier than plutonium prog / sludge / zeuhl group Combat Astronomy under the direction of Jamie Huggett.
Surprising, delighting and occasionally alarming audiences for a number of years now, Juxtavoices is a 30 piece choir for mainly untrained voices co directed by Archer with Alan Halsey which has racked up dozens of performances and issued three CDs.
This eclectic combination of sources and highly individual applications makes Archer a unique inhabitant of the school of English maverick composer / improvisers. "-Discus-All Music, Discus Records (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/martin-archer-mn0000146946)
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• Show Bio for Steve Dinsdale
"Steve Dinsdale plays keyboards and drums in the leading British electronic trio Radio Massacre International, who have released a plethora of albums over the last 20 years and played concerts in both Europe and America. He is also a member of Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere and Engine Room Favourites, and has several solo albums to his name."-Bishop's House (http://www.bishopshouse.org.uk/index.php/events/315-das-rad-robinson-archer-dinsdale)
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• Show Bio for Frostlake
frostlake is Sheffield-based singer, musician Jan Todd.-Squidco 10/11/2017
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• Show Bio for Yvonna Magda
"Yvonna Magda is a violinist, improviser, composer and performer based in Bristol and Leeds. She plays violin in several ensembles including Halftone Quartet, 7 Hertz trio, Madame Laycock and Her Dabeno Pleasures, the Bennett/Cole Orchestra and is a member of Strati Project, a creative collaboration between dance artists and musicians. She also performs solo using a mixture of acoustic violin, electronics, loops and effects to create changing layers of sound, texture and harmony.Yvonna Magda
She has toured and performed at venues and festivals across the U.K. and Europe and her compositions have been featured on Radio 3 and Channel 4. Working in various contexts, she has improvised to live visuals, composed for film, theatre and animation and accompanied spoken word, dance and puppetry. She has studied music with, among others, Mark Dresser and Mark Feldman. In 2008 she composed and played in Rachel Dean's dance piece based on 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'Love In Idleness', and went on to perform and compose for choreographer Kathinka Walter's mixed media installation piece 'Before I Decide' in 2008 and again in 2011. More recently, she has worked as a multi-instrumentalist, touring with Theatre Alibi and Dragon Breath Theatre, and as Musical Director for The Independent Scrutineers.
Yvonna teaches violin, improvisation and composition and has a particular interest in writing and performing music which is part written; part improvised.
Inspired by a range of styles including contemporary jazz, contemporary classical and folk, her music explores the spaces between harmony and discord; structure and spontaneous expression."-Yvonna Magda Website (https://yvonnamagda.wordpress.com/)
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• Show Bio for Walt Shaw
"Walt Shaw is a freelance musician and artist from near Derby in the Midlands. He has been involved in a host of arts projects for the last 28 years. Prior to becoming a freelance musician and artist he was, for 14 years, Head of Biology in a large Comprehensive near Burton-on-Trent. This was after teaching in Lincoln and northern Nigeria (VSO). His projects have ranged from exhibitions of paintings and sculpture, both solo and group, to installations, to cross-disciplinary collaborations with dancers and physical performers. In these latter projects his experimental percussion and low-tech electronics have always played a significant role.
In 1989, Walt, along with the artist Kevin Burnley, co-founded the artist group BET4. They exhibited widely in the Midlands and in Germany and Paris. By 1993, the group widened in scope, becoming increasingly involved with not just exhibitions but installations, live art and cross-disciplinary projects. These usually integrated elements of contemporary dance, live sound and physical performance along with a strong visual aesthetic. This gave Walt opportunities for experimenting with percussion in unusual contexts as well as the creativity of that visual aesthetic. Performances took place throughout England as well as Scotland, Paris and Germany. The work of BET4 had a profound influence on all the subsequent solo and collaborative projects Walt has been involved with.
Walt has enjoyed 3 major Arts Council England awards for projects. These were for 'Polarities', 'Timepoints' and 'Entropic'. Along with the artist Simon Piasecki he also carried out the A.C.E. project 'Mendel's Garden'. He has been a collaborative artist in many other A.C.E. projects. Details of all these can be seen in the 'Live Art / Cross-disciplinary' section.
Education has played a significant part in Walt's work, even after 1989.
He has carried out many workshops in both art and percussion in Primary, Secondary, F.E. and H.E. in the Midlands and the North. He has been an artist-in- residence at Melton Brooksby College in 2005 and Abbot Beyne School, Burton-on-Trent in 2009. Walt ran Creative Percussion Discussion in Derby from 2004 through to 2005, working with youngsters under the auspices of Derby Jazz. In 2006, Walt was a tutor in a Clore Duffield Foundation project working with teenagers in Belper, using an old car as a source for art, percussion and performance. 2006 saw a project alongside the inspiring musician Orphy Robinson, working in schools to make instruments from scrap objects and improvise with them. This was a Creative Partnerships project.
Walt has played with many leading improvising musicians from the U.K. and abroad and is presently playing in several bands (see 'Music') whilst still producing visual art ( see 'Visual Art'). It is fair to say he has an unease about specialism and arbitrary categorizations. His creative development over the years has always been very difficult to pigeonhole. His creative process is the same whatever the medium though, involving searching, experimentation, expression, pushing the boundaries and refining."-Walt Shaw Website (http://www.waltshaw.co.uk/about.php)
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• Show Bio for Mick Somerset
"Mick Somerset aka Michael Ronald Ward is signed as a writer to BMG Chrysalis Music. I also play all woodwinds and keyboards / percussion and vocals. He has written over 20 top twenty singles and contributed to many hit albums. He played piccolo on the number one hit "Everything Changes" by Take That which he also wrote, and he made two albums in the US with hit producer Don Was. He is also an improviser, performing on Selmer V1 saxes nino/s/a/t/b. King Super 20 tenor and King saxello . Uebel flute, Kuiper altoflute Kingma bassflute. Selmer bassclt/ Selmer Bb/ Patricola Eb."-Theo Wanne, Discogs (http://endorsers.theowanne.com/Michael-Ward)
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• Show Bio for Paul Schatzberger
Paul Schatzberger was born Manchester 1950, self-taught photography, qualified medicine London 1973, general practitioner 1978, moved to Sheffield 1983, photographs published since 1984 and exhibited since 1993, left NHS to focus on making art 2007. He also plays violin and accordion in a variety of settings.-Paul Schatzberger Website (http://www.paulschatzberger.com/?Biography)
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• Show Bio for Aby Vulliamy
"Aby Vulliamy is a musician and composer, performing and recording frequently as a violist, pianist and vocalist in a range of ensembles and collaborations.
Aby is also a Music Therapist
Aby has shared the stage and/or studio with a brilliant array of musicians, including jazz/improv legends such as John Tchicai, Evan Parker, Maggie Nichols, Matt Bourne, Annie Whitehead, Karen Mantler, Krautrocker Hans Joachim Irmler of Faust and indie-rockers Yo La Tengo, with respected folk musicians such as Bridget St John, Mary Hampton, Ali Roberts, Lucy Farrell, The Trembling Bells and Mike Heron (The Incredible String Band), with popstars such as Isobel Campbell, Stevie Jackson (Belle and Sebastian), Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Aidan Moffat (Arab Strap), and with national ensembles including The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Aby's ongoing long-term collaborations include with Stevie Jones (Sound of Yell, since 2012) and Bill Wells (The National Jazz Trio of Scotland, since 2007)."-Aby Vulliamy Website (http://www.abyvulliamy.co.uk/about-contact.html)
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• Show Bio for Angela Rosenfeld
Cellist Angela Rosenfeld is a member of Ask, and has performed with Julie Tippetts & Martin Archer (Tales Of Finin) and is a member of Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere.-Squidco 10/11/2017
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