03 February 2009

Rachel's Nautical Genius: The Sea and the Bells (1996)

On their third full length release the independent, unclassifiable (avant chamber, anyone?) collective Rachel's struck a somber, elegiac chord with The Sea and the Bells. If you think of this as a tone poem as written by Steve Reich or Gavin Bryars you wouldn't be far off. Piano, strings, brass and percussion ebb and flow, rise and fall almost tidally, creating a beautiful if somewhat foreboding sonic landscape, or rather seascape. Generalities, I know, but the music doesn't fit the usual prescribed categories, especially those of pop or even avant-garde rock. It may remind you of a soundtrack to a peculiar seafaring Bergman film. More than worth a listen for those of you who are looking for something a bit different than your usual indie rock or power pop stalwarts. Be warned: track eight made my dog get up and leave the room. He came back when it was over.

Rachel's are the type of band that has been around a long time but always seem to bring something new to the table. You really can't go wrong with any of their discs but this one is a definite must-hear.

John Baker - Bells
Kevin Coultas - Drum set, Timpani
Christian Frederickson - Viola, Matchbooks
Edward Grimes - Drum Kit
Rachel Grimes - Piano, Vibes, Linen Sheet
Thomas Hatte - Contrabass
Sarah Hong - Cello
Ann Kim - Violin
Greg King - Boatswain
Jim Maciukenas - Musical Saw
Matthew McBride - Viola
Eve Miller - Violoncello, Breton Plotter & Notepad

(Track info via allmusic):

AMG Pick

1 comment:

rosie said...

Wow, there is a wealth of creative music on this site. It is alsoinformation packed. Thanks for the mp3's