Exposé Online banner

Horace X — Sackbutt
(Omnium OMM-2031, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-12-01

Sackbutt Cover art

In the mega-genre that is World Music there is a subgenre often called World Beat. Rather than being specifically from any part of the world, either in fact or in sound, World Beat combines elements found in widely varied cultures. Some of the most notable examples are Afro Celts, 3 Mustaphas 3, Dissidenten, and Azigza, but there are many more. Three ingredients that many World Beat practitioners have in common are reggae, African percussion, and Celtic melodies. Horace X present a somewhat eccentric new take on the formula (such as it is). Their basic foundation is a high-energy reggae/ska rhythm topped by reeds and violin that combine Celtic, gypsy and Middle Eastern flavors. Pete Newman's choice of reed instruments is clarinet and baritone sax, often multi-tracked in open-octave unison lines, giving the band a distinctive sound unlike anything I've heard. Vocalist Simon Twitchin favors Jamaican style rapping (sometimes called toasting), though he occasionally sings. This is a band that is incapable of confining themselves even to their own invented style, and one tune approaches a Public Image Ltd punk energy courtesy of a guest guitarist. While there are some cuts I really enjoy, the very eclecticism sometimes gets in the way, as if the band is trying so hard to sound like no one else that they have lost sight of sounding like themselves. (Note: The British release of this album is called Sackbutt Folk Spoil Sunday and contains one less track.)


Filed under: New releases, Issue 28, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Horace X

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sparks - Sparks & A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing – Most probably know Sparks from their later work, but these two are where it all began for this LA based five-piece led by brothers Ron and Russel Mael (keyboards and vocals, respectively). On these...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues