Stop Motion Orchestra — Instant Everything!
((Not on label) no#, 2014, CD)
by Henry Schneider, 2014-12-04:
In 2013 there was a viral YouTube video of an elderly lady playing drums in a Wisconsin music store. She was dubbed Grandma Drummer. Austin’s Stop Motion Orchestra used this video as inspiration for the opening track “Mystery Grandma” on their debut album. Austin’s burgeoning progressive rock scene is producing a variety of new and refreshing music, far from what you would expect out of Texas. Case in point is Stop Motion Orchestra. Formed in 2013 and led by Mohadev, Stop Motion Orchestra composes and performs Rock in Opposition instrumentals. Their debut album is a set of eleven intelligent instrumentals. I saw them perform live on October 2, 2014 in a small venue in Austin and they gave a great performance which I captured on video. Mohadev cites The Cardiacs as a major influence and Stop Motion Orchestra covers "T.V.T.V." on this release. There are so many different and fresh ideas on this album I don’t know where to begin. Stop Motion Orchestra is the quintet of Louk, Alden, Mohadev, Josh, and Henna. Performing live they are stripped down to guitar, drums, sax, violin, and keyboards. In the studio Mohadev plays a variety of additional instruments. Their music is characterized by dissonant guitar, abrupt rhythm changes, fiery violin solos, crazed sax passages, and some cool bass synth riffs. In addition to the influences they site on Facebook (Albert Marcoeur, Cardiacs, Fred Frith, Zappa, and Magma) I detect a strong French electronic influence, ala Besombes and Rizet, as well as Present, Weather Report, and even some klezmer. Most of the eleven songs are in the three- to four-minute range, which is just the proper length. And there is a surprise on track 8, “Mono Interval,” that is an exquisite piano interlude. The two outstanding tracks in my opinion are “News and Ice Cream,” featuring amazing violin and guitar interaction, and the closing track “Mono No Aware” with acoustic guitar and a strong Morricone – Spaghetti Western vibe.
by Peter Thelen, 2014-11-03:With one foot firmly in the rich bed of Euro-folk and another in a more classic melodic proggy space, this Austin based quintet brings a lot of great ideas to the fore with a snappy and clever songwriting style and an interesting combination of instrumentation. De-facto bandleader and primary composer Mohadev plays guitars, keyboards, banjo, bass, computer and other stuff, pulling together a wide array of compositional ideas that all mesh together well, but still challenge conventional senses. The melodic front line also features Louk Cox (soprano and tenor sax) and Alden Doyle (violin and sampled violin), and together these three bring some brilliant and catchy material to life, while the rhythm section of drummer Joshua Carruth and synth-bassist Henna Chou keep the edges sharp and the angles compelling. Seven more musicians guest on various cuts as needed, contributing bass, vibraphone, piano, percussion and more. The only non-band composition here is a cover of The Cardiacs “T.V.T.V.,” a great choice which is also the hardest rocking piece among the eleven tunes, and no doubt one window into the band’s influences. On the chamber-rock side I suspect Thinking Plague might also factor into their influences, although with their more melodic approach I am more often reminded of the Virginia based band However, especially on tunes like closer “Mono No Aware”. The folky elements blend into their sound perfectly, and certainly will recall elements of Debile Menthol and L’Ensemble Rayé, even a touch of Begnagrad. The listener may find it surprising that Instant Everything! is in fact Stop Motion Orchestra’s debut; they certainly sound far more together than do most bands on their opening salvo, and hopefully this is the first of many more to come.
Related artist(s): Stop Motion Orchestra
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
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
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
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
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
Basilwink - Payoffs, Kickbacks, and Other Great American Traditions – While the opening cut displays some fairly standard rock/funk riffery, the grotesquely distorted vocals and unusual effects make the two minute affair somewhat unique. Basilwink is the... (2006) » Read more