yet another two reviews…. of the new album ENTER by Fire! Orchestra. reviewed by great the freejazzblog and swedish rock mag SONIC!
Fire! Orchestra – Enter (Rune Grammofon, 2014) ****½
In the last issue of “The Wire“ Fire! Orchestra’s new album “Enter” was harshly criticized, there were expressions and phrases like “flawed”, “conceptually flabby”, “texturally overcooked” or “cod-operatic prog rock pomp”. The reviewer even claimed that he couldn’t remember actively disliking an album as much in a very long time.
“The Wire” is rightfully regarded as a well-respected magazine, the question is how can they be so completely wrong – since “Enter” is a great album. Maybe the reason for this scorcher is the fact that Gustafsson had a marvelous year 2013. Almost everyone liked Fire! Orchestra’s debut “Exit”, it was in many of our top ten lists, “The Wire” even gave Gustafsson a cover story, alternative rock media paid attention, this year the orchestra played the Roskilde festival. That might be why some critics have become suspicious that Gustafsson is flirting too much with mainstream.
This is one side of the coin and the beginning of the album could prove the skeptics right because “Enter” ties in with “Exit”, however it is a bit more accessible, funkier, more soulful, with a tempting Fender Rhodes riff and the demand “to let it all go” – the hippie approach is taken to the extremes, it’s drunken psychedelic soul as if they were a prog rock version of Rare Earth or The Temptations.
On the other hand this lasts just five minutes before the real nature of this album is revealed. Much more than its predecessor it gives off the spirit of one of Gustafsson’s great idols: Sun Ra. Like the Arkestra has used swing structures, free jazz patterns and Ra’s special ideology to create their unique sound, Gustafsson and Fire! Orchestra use rock, pop, free jazz and modern big band elements to do likewise – only in a more postmodernist way.
“Enter Part Two” opens with a distorted version of The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” riff presenting Silverbullit´s Simon Ohlsson as a male voice as a contrast to singers Mariam Wallenberg and Sofie Jernberg – one of the differences to “Exit”. The composition is classic Fire! stuff, Kraut rock shit which is kept together by Johan Berthling’s fuzz bass, Andreas Werliin’s drums and even Gustafsson’s sax submits to the groove before the orchestra fuel the hot brew. However, completely out of the blue, the track undergoes a shape shift as if a band was kicked off the stage and immediately replaced by something absolutely different. There is total noise, chaos, turmoil – just to morph into a part which is dominated by an almost traditional brass section part. To confuse the listener even more “Enter Part Three” begins like a test arrangement for new music, like a mad chamber orchestra which tries to defend itself against the massive orchestra arrangements by which it is attacked from the background. Sun Ra would have enjoyed this, the unpredictability, the abruptness, the stoic bass lines, the barrage of the reeds. Finally, this kaleidoscope of atmospheres, rhythms, quotations, textures and dynamics is completed by a back reference: “Enter Part Four” uses the same riff as “Enter Part One” – the band rides into the sunset with us.
“Enter” is an excellent follow up for “Exit”, even if it is not as surprising. It will be interesting if Fire! will continue this project.
In contrast to “The Wire”: Hardly ever have I actively liked an album so much.
Fire! Orchestra soon in london…..soon in skopje…. soon in stockholm….. soon in …
philip clark… we are coming to get you…
FIRE! working with the most kickin theatre director in sweden Lars Rudolfsson in :
DET FLYGANDE BARNET!
by Roland Schimmelpfennig
directed by Lars Rudolfsson
music direction by Mats Gustafsson
sound: Mikael Werliin
PREMIERE 7 feb 2015 !!!
ORION TEATERN, Stockholm
FIRE! w David Sandström (Refused) & Mariam Wallentin (Wildbirds & Peacedrums ) !!!!!!!!
and actors Vanna Rosenberg & Gustaf Hammarsten
a unique event with Fire! playing live three months in a row at the Orion Theatre in Stockholm
+ every Saturday in march & arpil, in addition : the Fire! CLUB : with spectacular international acts of creative music performing. Rock, Noise, free jazz, experimental music, DJ´s, jazz, performance, contemporary dance, poetry, pop in all various shapes and forms!
exact program TBA….. but very heavy, creative and different music and performances will appear during the period of the project!
“free your ass and your mind will follow”
a MEGA HAPPENING —- a SOUND POEM —- of music, poetry, art, acting, performance all based on the text by Roland Schimmelpfenning!
period: feb , march & april 2015
info and contact: email@example.com
comin up this weekend…. jazzin in copenhagen — thurston moore & mats gustafsson
more news soon!
including an HUGE VINYL TRADE UPDATE!!!!
ROCKIN at ROSKILDE fest 5th July!!!
two new amazing discaholic interviews – on the OTHER site – on the OTHER side of things…
Stephen O´Malley – legendary musician and noise poet – Sunn O))) & discaholic….
Bruno Johnson — OKKA disk producer, bar legend and discaholic…
& two new VAX DAX texts…. in swedish;
in Europa right now — THE THING —- playing BOOT material and related activites!
check tour schedule:
check these great photos from Michael Parque from the recent concert in Nantes:
soon —- a brand new 7″ EP — with unreleased material from BOOT!
coming out soon on The Thing records /// TROST records!!!
w Mats Gustafsson & Martin Küchen
under Vienna…making noises…..
filmed by Johannes Heuer
a new interview – this time in swedish – on the blog Det Tornas Rymd
& 2 new releases — on vinyl of course!
1. BOOTS BROWN!
after many years of silence and recharging of batteries and related matters. they are back. inspired by Jimmy Giuffre
check it out / buy it :
2. Mats Gustafsson & Paal Nilssen – Love duo — SIN GAS
following up the congas & bass sax duets of CON GAS.
this is a sax & drum full out battle! hard core free jazz splatter metal blow out!
LP, CD and T – shirt!!!