High Castle Teleorkestra
Locations: America, Norway, France, and Australia
Album: The Egg That Never Opened, out now via Art As Catharsis
RIYL: Philip K. Dick. Family. Film Scores.
Listening to The Egg That Never Opened on the 40th anniversary of Philip K. Dick’s most famous adaptation, Blade Runner, was quite an interesting experience. High Castle Teleorkestra’s (HCT) jaw-dropping debut is somewhat of a tribute to PKD and a hypothetical score to a non-existent (except to the band’s minds) adaptation of Radio Free Albemuth. Featuring an incredible pedigree (Estradasphere, Mr. Bungle, and Secret Chiefs 3, among others), HCT is what happens when talent and execution meet, though bassist, keyboardist, celloist, and vocalist Tim Smolens acknowledges the sheer amount of ideas was a lot:
“Some of our main influences are exotica, Italian Film Music, 60’s surf, off color progressive music (such as Mr. Bungle’s Disco Volante), Balkan folk, western swing, ’50’s instrumental ensembles, space age lounge, doo-wop, Joe Meek, metal, The Beach Boys, found sounds from all corners of the globe and much more. Combining those influences feels natural to us but to most of the public it must seem insane. We wanted to make those disparate elements feel like they belong together in the same musical space, not an easy task with our music. All the songs go through months of production to achieve the highly layered sound of the finished product. For this album we used a (Radio Free Albemuth) to help frame our songs into a cohesive narrative. The number of times that book ended up having a huge influence on the direction of the recordings are too many to count.”
He continues: “We are huge fans of old, gritty analog sounds from (the) ‘50s, ’60s, ’70s. Even though we benefit from the convenience of digital recordings we spend a lot of time trying to use great equipment and craft tones that harken back to the aforementioned eras. We wanted to show that we could make a record that was totally nuts and yet somehow really fun and listenable, while still portraying a dark, dystopian sci-fi narrative. We wanted to make sure we used the stunning virtuosity in the group in a tasteful way and not fall into the distasteful territory that progressive music sometimes can.”
Watch the video for “Mutual Hazard” here:
For more from High Castle Teleorkestra, find them on Facebook, Bandcamp, and their official website.
Photo courtesy of Earsplit PR