Valtozash – Wizard-Bird

The Australian jazz metal fusion orchestra Valtozash is quite a newcomer, when it comes to their young age as a group, but they’ve already made their marks with their 2016 debut album, Iron Maiden Voyage. Barely more than a year later, they’re back with a sophomore release in Wizard-Bird. For those unaware, the ensemble is quite extensive: five saxophone players, three for trumpets, four trombones, and a vibraphonist all play alongside the traditional guitars-bass-drums trio. On top of that, the track from which the album title is taken features the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra! Through musical humour and a … Read more

Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra – Vula

The massive eighteen-piece big band, or small ensemble, from Germany Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra released, in early July, their latest album in Vula. The hourlong release, which features seven tracks, is very eclectic and dense. Their music has a sometimes retro quality to it, which takes you back to the music of the thirties or forties, but retain an undeniably modern aspect. The vast array of musicians play demanding compositions, like the fast-paced and hectic ‘In Light of Turmoil’, blaring almost relentlessly for more than thirteen minutes. I can only imagine how the drummer’s right arm feels after this… … Read more

Túcan – Towers

This band was brought to my attention by someone posting it on our facebook page, describing it as “highly experimental flamenco”. I was immediately in love. Also I’d like to reiterate the fact that we do take submissions, so send us anything and everything you love and we’ll skim the best. Do you think I create new avant bands out of thin air? Nah, it’s all about connections.

So… Tower is Túcan‘s second full-length album, and their fourth release if we don’t count the singles that ended up on this album. Straight away, the band is a “big band” … Read more

Review: Nathan Parker Smith – Not Dark Yet

Does the name Nathan Parker Smith ring a bell to you? No? Well, that is about to change. His album Not Dark Yet certainly would have been on our best of 2014 list if we only knew about it earlier, but life, as good as it is, can sometimes be unfair. However, it’s certainly not too late to give the album a spin, and marvel at its ingenuity, and pure goodness.

First of all, we should talk here not just about a band, but rather a big band (bold is to emphasize the bigness), or large ensemble. In addition to … Read more