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November 28, 2007 Ratchet Orchestra

Espèce de fainéantise entre le sublime et le ridicule, Ratchet Orchestra est une hydre à trente têtes qui, depuis 1994, sort à l’occasion pour déranger la ville de Montréal.

J’appelle le groupe un orchestre, mais j’espère que c’est l’antithèse de l’orchestre classique. Pour moi, les gros groupes ressemblent trop souvent à des équipes de sport, ou pire, des armées. Je veux que Ratchet sonne comme une fête de singes dactylos qui tapent. (N.C.)

November 28, 2007

Live at The Sala Rossa

Ratchet Orchestra

Nicolas Caloia

La presse en parle

  • Richard Moule, Signal to Noise, no 52, 21 décembre 2008
  • David Dacks, Exclaim!, 1 septembre 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!, 1 septembre 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.

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