Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra – Take Off!

Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra - Take Off!

Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra - Take Off!

It’s true, that if someone states they have heard a band like Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra before, they are clearly lying. Maybe they’ve heard the snazzy jazz that is found on here, or maybe they’re familiar with the neo-classical leanings they’ve fashioned, or maybe they’ve even heard the movie and TV style soundtracks but all together? Doubt it. We are lucky because the massive symphony, along with composer Daniel Glatzel, have created and for lack of a better word, concocted, one breathtaking album with Take Off!.

The album’s opening salvo, the multi-faceted and diversifying techniques of “Gamma Pluto Delta” is simply put, a breath of fresh air. But there is nothing simple about the AMEO’s music. Beginning with a minor string line; slashing away with an intense articulation, short and crisp saxes are then added. Followed by the mixture of woodwinds and brass, the strings slice away without a care in the world. Like something out of “The Jetsons,” it flies by in an intrepid manner. And before you know it, you have the culmination of what Bartók, Gil Evans, Wagner and Glenn Miller would sound like if they were all mashed together to create one supreme being.

At only 25 years young, Glatzel is an assured, gifted and utterly brilliant composer. Hailing from backgrounds too diverse to name, the orchestra is composed of 20 young musicians. And together, they create some of the best classical music I have heard in years. “Lava Lovers” is a slow-moving bossa nova that floats right on by with hushing horns and spacey strings and pacifying textures. Error-free and splendidly arranged, the music’s calming comfort is a wondrous development. And on the opposite side, “Scene 3” follows the same agenda, this time with a much more deliberate pace and Sketches of Spain sounds: with trumpets, bassoon and other wind instruments galore.

The one song that many could probably connect to is the Gordon Goodwin-influenced “Asteroids!” Everything from the opening scream, the heavy saxes, outbreak of flash in the pan and an almost heavenly décor, all shouts loveliness. It breaks into an otherworldly experience in the striking discord that comes with the dissonant movement. Long and eerie, it’s a scary set of events for sure but unquestionably, brilliant. Where the bari sax blows the bottom out, the song’s trumpet solo comes in few hits and always followed and preceded by re-assuring horn lines, it is indubitably, an outrageously winning style.

The album’s strongest suite comes with the twelve-minute dance of “Milky Away Fables.” Set out like a divertimento of sorts, the range of styles, tempos and key changes are all ingeniously excellent. There’s a jazzy interlude, with a bebop sax solo in the style of Coltrane, which was lead into by a glorious, prosperous amount of strings. This is then followed by a vicious vibe solo that would make Benny Goodman proud and then an even balance of dominant to tonic chords affluently close out the special piece.

By way of remarkable influences and new innovations, Take Off! is something out of this world. With an orchestra of musicians as talented as these, Glatzel is obviously able to put anything in front of them without worry. It makes for one dazzling set of music: one that can thrill to the core, dramatically draw anyone in, musically challenge even the snobbiest of fans but most importantly, amaze and entice on every possible level-in short, magnificent.

Alien Transistor