Exposé Online banner

The Reptile Palace Orchestra — Iguana Iguana
(Omnium OMM 2022, 1999, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 1999-11-01

Iguana Iguana Cover art

With the same globe-hopping disregard for genre exhibited by labelmates Boiled in Lead, Reptile Palace Orchestra present a collection of Eastern European dances, twisted folk tales, Colombian fishing songs, and anything else that crossed their minds. The overall sound is more acoustic than BiL, with violins and clarinets dominant, and there’s even a touch of off-the-wall retro-swing in the mode of Squirrel Nut Zippers. The musicianship, while never especially flashy, is eclectic and maintains a loose, light touch. But don’t make the mistake of thinking there’s any sort of respectful adherence to tradition here. Just when you think you’ve got them pegged, RPO will throw a big curve. “Gankino Horo,” described in the liner notes as a “traditional Bulgarian kopanica” (a dance in 11/8), slowly mutates into an electric violin showcase with intense narration from vocalist Anna Purnell. As an added bonus for progressive music fans, RPO throw in a cover of Eno’s “Sombre Reptiles” – a natural for them.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 18, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): The Reptile Palace Orchestra

Latest news

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Joy of Cooking - Joy of Cooking, Closer to the Ground, & Castles – Those looking for a 'good ole time' need look no further — funky West Coast psychedelia flavored country-rock to be found here. Equally rooted in the blues, this stuff is steeped in the tradition of...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues