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

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...

Imogene - Imogene – Certainly one of the ways for a band to achieve a distinctive sound is to feature an unconventional lineup of instruments. Imogene takes this tack by taking a typical b/d/g/k format and substituting...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues