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November 28, 2007 Ratchet Orchestra

This is a lovely recording of a band that have gradually expanded from a quartet to a truly orchestral sound. Exclaim!, Canada

Lolling between the sublime and the ridiculous, the Ratchet Orchestra is a 30 head hydra which has occasionally disturbed the city of Montréal since 1994.

November 28, 2007

Live at The Sala Rossa

Ratchet Orchestra

Nicolas Caloia

In the press

  • Richard Moule, Signal to Noise, no. 52, December 21, 2008
  • David Dacks, Exclaim!, September 1, 2008
    This is a lovely recording of a band that have gradually expanded from a quartet to a truly orchestral sound.

Destination Out

David Dacks, Exclaim!, September 1, 2008

This is a lovely recording of a band that have gradually expanded from a quartet to a truly orchestral sound. Several generations of Montréal musicians participate in this project, which displays a wonderful variety of approaches to improvisation, from myriad takes on noise to European classical derivations or the bluesiest of wails. These noir-ish, expansive compositions are obviously influenced by Sun Ra, but in the right ways. Ratchet master Nicolas Caloia never indulges in lame, quasi-mystic space motifs; rather he finds inspiration in the orchestral sounds of Ellington, Ra’s former boss Fletcher Henderson and occasionally, Egyptian icon Om Khalsoum. With over 27 players in the orchestra, seemingly every instrument is doubled, if not tripled up. A large contingent of strings makes for some arresting ensemble sounds, as in the beguiling Carmine and the initial part of T(h)rust. The large scale improvs (Alan Silva, etc.) of the ’60s also come to mind but this disc’s stylistic range, contemporary electric sounds and overall gusto never sound like revisionism. My big gripe is the cover art, which has feathers glued all over the spine. My allergies and my computer’s CD drive curse you for this poor design choice.

This is a lovely recording of a band that have gradually expanded from a quartet to a truly orchestral sound.

Blog

  • Founded in 1994, Nicolas Caloia’s Ratchet Orchestra releases its first title, recorded live at La Sala Rossa in November 2007. Featuring 30 of Montréal’s finest improvisors, including Gordon Allen, Chris Burns, Alexandre Grogg, Pierre Labb…

    Wednesday, December 3, 2008 / New releases
  • After a huge success at the Suoni Per Il Popolo festival last summer, The Ratchet Orchestra will be in concert at the Jewish General Hospital in Montréal on December 1, 2008. The orchestra, who just released its first recording, features do…

    Friday, November 28, 2008 / In concert

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