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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Josh Reichmann Oracle Band Brings Back the Old New Wave

I was catching up on my listening list the other day and I stumbled upon an EP by the Josh Reichmann Oracle Band, a group from Toronto on Paper Bag Records. I put it on for a spin on my turntable (Ha ha, just kidding--who has turntables anymore? Anyone? A show of hands? If you raised your hand, I am in awe of your commitment to old school analog, but anyway..). Now where was I? Oh yes, as I listened to the complex but danceable brew with prominent horns, keys, and Josh's characteristic vocal vibrato, I was taken with their groove and similarity to another band of my youth: Bill Nelson's Red Noise.

Back in the early 80's there was an amazingly creative period where the initial wave of punk had broken on our shores from England, and then a "new wave" of innovation broke through, bringing with it a new electric sound, often synth driven, more melodic and danceable than the hardcore punk movement which preceded it. Listening to Reichmann, I could still be hanging out in the basement spinning vinyl back in 1980.

Here is more on Josh from Paper Bag Records:

Josh Reichmann’s first band, Tangiers, brought a Rock/Post-Punk sound that began a trail of critical acclaim with their first release Hot New Spirits (2003) and spread over two more records (Never Bring You Pleasure, 2004 and The Family Myth, 2005). Tangiers caught the attention of Indie Rock fans across Canada and the US, and earned rave reviews from such notable sources as Pitchfork Media.

Josh returns to music with an entirely new line up of collaborators, now gathering from a pool of soul, early-funk, roots and dark punk influences. Josh Reichmann Oracle Band is a five piece band incorporating heavy saxophone, Stevie Wonder-meets-The Stooges keyboards, soul-style drumming, a live dancer, thick roots bass and Josh as the main songwriter and front man. At the root of these sounds is pure songwriting- timeless, heart wrenching and darkly enchanting.

The EP "Life Is Legal", released in October, is a preview of the full length release due out in March. Based on this teaser, I expect the album to be simply outstanding. Message to Josh: please visit us in North Carolina ya hear!?

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