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Horace X — Strategy
(Omnium OMM-2040, 2005, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01
When last I heard from Horace X, back in 2003 with Sackbutt, I found their eclectic mishmash of influences both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, they didn’t really sound like anyone else; on the other, they seemed a bit scattered, not quite successful bringing the diverse elements into a cohesive whole. With this new release, they seem to have hit their stride. The same ingredients make up the recipe, but they’re mixed together more artfully. Energetic ska beats infused with techno touches, reggae-inflected vocals, Celtic fiddle, Middle Eastern sax and clarinet — you do the math. That kind of multiplication totals up to a high originality quotient. The album is like a non-stop party for people from all continents, and if there was such a thing as dance music from Antarctica, I’m sure Horace X would find a way to get in through the door too. Above all, the band members are having fun, and it’s infectious. I suppose some listeners might find them gimmicky, but they stick to their guns and play as if there’s nothing strange about what they do. Both programming and live playing figure in their strategy — whatever gets the job done — humanity wins out over the machines, and all cultures are stronger when they are free to mix without fear of losing their own identities.
Related artist(s): Horace X
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