Exposé Online banner

Horace X — Strategy
(Omnium OMM-2040, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Strategy Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Horace X

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kantata - Samsara – For background information, go dig up a copy of Expose #14, and find the review where I spent half a page trying to describe a CD by Iwan Fals. Here, the XTC/Sting/Cat Stevens-influenced...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues