Saturday, 7 January 2017
Orgone Box - Centaur
Recommended if you like: The Beatles, Cotton Mather, XTC, Beaulieu Porch - (The Active Listener)
"there is a pretty strong case for arguing that it is the definitive psych-ish power pop album of that, or indeed any decade..." ' Popjunkie London
This is the pristine album from 1996, which in 2001 became the selftitled ''The Orgone Box''.
''The Active Listener'' wrote this:
The Active Listener published this review of the vinyl release before we were offered the digital rights:
The convoluted and frustrating path that led to the recording and release of 2001's self titled "Orgone Box" album (actually recorded in 1996) makes a fascinating read, and the resulting album is an acknowledged lost classic - heard by few, but cherished by that small number.
So when Sugarbush Records boss Markus Holler decided it was time that the world had another chance to digest this exquisite psychedelic pop treat, Orgone Box mainman Rick Corcoran took the opportunity to give things a bit of a tweak, resequencing, remixing and re-recording (vocals mostly I gather) to make an album that I initially thought was untouchable even better.
Strictly speaking this isn't exactly the "Orgone Box" album. The sequencing is completely new, a few tracks have departed, and there's a new one in it's place.
It is however the definitive statement of what the Orgone Box was, and promisingly enough appears to still be about - Beatley pop tunes with cleverly subversive verses and gloriously soaring choruses. And while the original mixes of these songs sound very much like psychedelia as remembered in the nineties (think a more psychedelicized Cotton Mather), with the clean and occasionally sterile sheen that comes from a mostly home-recorded affair, these new mixes sound both startlingly contemporary and far more authentically vintage sixties at the same time. The overall effect is that what was once a slightly-delic power-pop album of fantastically well observed Beatlesque pop moments, is now a kitchen-sink psychedelic baroque pop extravaganza. Regular readers of this rag will have found themselves instructed often to investigate the recorded works of Beaulieu Porch - anyone who has investigated that catalogue and been impressed should follow up immediately with "Centaur" sight unseen. You'll love it.
"Mirrorball (When I Want To Feel)" is a personal favorite, with a chugging "I am the Walrus" cello section, chiming Harrisonesque guitar arpeggios and effects laden vocals and guitar parts sweeping through on a solar breeze. The anthemic "Judy Over The Rainbow" benefits similarly from it's retweaking with a slightly slower tempo and added chorus harmonies finally realizing its full regal splendour.
In Corcoran's own words: "Centaur is very important to me now not just as an artist, but emotionally, and I think it's self-defining now. There was a disconnect before in many ways, but now I think that collection of songs have caught up - to the best we could do anyway without re-recording the whole thing, which would have been a disaster! That story is now complete as far as I'm concerned and it's time to move on.
For me this is a really great album and one of my ''Top 200'' (and that means a lot) . Okay enjoy this masterpiece and i hope you have the same fun like i feel if i listen.