Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Omni Recording Company

Here's a little label that's definitely worthy of your investigation. The Omni Recording Company is one of my favourite purveyors of oddball and 'out there' sounds à la Trunk, Roundtable and Finders Keepers. Finely curated by maverick collector and musician David Thrussell, the label has unearthed a vast catalogue of weird and wonderful musical gems which range from off-kilter avant library music, electronic space jazz, hillbilly freak funk to global soundtrack psychedelia. 

The Patrice Sciortino "Chronoradial" disc is a particular favourite. Originally released in 1970, on the cult French Musique Pour L’Image production label, this release showcases his underexposed and criminally neglected compositional mastery. Incredibly complex arrangements of densely layered avant percussive salvos, soundtrack jazz, psycho dramatic orchestration and ethereal choirs interweave and fragment in undeniably fascinating rhythms of off-kilter beauty. "Chronoradial" is no easy listen and despite being over forty years old much the music still feels uncannily contemporaneous. The playful minimal percussive dial tone rhythm of "Kullos 2" wouldn't seem out of place on a new Pansonic lp. The choral pieces in particular are evocative and compositionally unconventional with sparse Javanese percussion tones intermingling with ethereal wordless vocals to hauntingly hallucinogenic effect. This is a stunning release and very much deserves a wider audience.

The wonderfully entitled "Orion 2000" by Orchestra Peter Thomas is oft described as the 'Holy Grail' of 'Kraut Jazz In Space Music'. Originally released on the Golden Ring library imprint in the mid seventies, this release combines brooding big band noir jazz, Blaxploitation style syncopated funk and electronic studio trickery to create an oddball blend of intoxicating space age astro moog jazz. Think, the hip ray gun swank of Hugo Montenegro, the psyche rock electronic percolations of Pierre Henry and you're half way there. There's enough analogue space gloop on here to power even the most modest rocket ship. Das ist ein groovy beat baby.

Last up, an old favourite. Those familiar with the legendary Incredibly Strange Music books published by RE/Search almost twenty years ago will be delighted to finally see “Songs of Couch and Consultation” by Katie Lee reissued. Recorded in 1957, the record is a twisted beatnik psychoanalytical journey through the repressed mind of folk chanteuse Katie Lee. Odd and hilarious in equal measures and perhaps one of the finest examples of musical psychotherapy ever committed to vinyl.

..... definitely a label to watch.


Nick said...

Strange, they have no audio previews. That's a shame.

A Sound Awareness said...

.... a few to follow soonish.

Robin Tomens said...

CD Universe has previews for Chronoradial.

Good article.

Excellent blog.

Carry on spreading the word(s)...

A Sound Awareness said...

Thanks for the kind words El Hombre.

I've been meaning to put a sound preview up but just haven't found the time.

It really is worth investigating!