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Underground Orchestra

Active Ingredient

(Wyman Records; US: 6 Jun 2006; UK: Unavailable)

I could wax lyrical about how these ten instrumental pieces are so well crafted, and how the musicianship of the band is beyond reproach. These two statements might be true, however, I won’t do that. This album is barely dull, and if I encouraged anyone to go out and listen to it I would be derelict in my duty as reviewer of CDs. Give it a miss; even your older brother would hate this record. The thing is that it is neither one thing nor the other. The songs meander between jazz, funk, fusion, and Middle Eastern, never pausing to stay in one camp long enough to figure out if it would like to remain there or not before setting off again to find somewhere else to be. And, yes, that sentence was deliberately long and convoluted, just like Underground Orchestra’s Active Ingredient.

Rating:

Marc A. Price was born in Peterborough, a tiny little backwater in the east of England and is a graduate of American Studies (BA, University of Sussex & University of Texas in Austin) and Contemporary History (MA, University of Sussex). He resisted the urge to get a third degree and moved to the Netherlands where he works for a well known STM publisher. He takes photos a good bit these days and struggles with his Internet addiction on a daily basis. He has been writing for PopMatters on and off since 2006. Marc A. Price would like to point out that he is not "Skippy" from Family Ties.


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