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Recording a Tape the Colours of the Light

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Album Review

Festooned with stickers announcing, "featuring members of the Arcade Fire," the debut from Canadian post-rock instrumentalists the Bell Orchestre owes as much allegiance to Tortoise, Jim O'Rourke, and Brian Eno as it does the lost childhood anthems that populate Funeral. That said, there's no harm in stealing a little buzz from a group that has recently found itself sharing the stage with, as well as being covered by, legends like U2 and David Bowie. Recording a Tape the Colour of the Light borrows enough Philip Glass repetition and John Cage minimalism to warrant its Orchestre title, but it's first and foremost a rock record. While it slows to a nearly forgettable pace about three quarters of the way in, standout tracks like "Lumieres, Pt. 1" and "Pt. 2," "Throw It on a Fire," and "Salvatore Amato" are soulful windows into the hearts of classical players who spent much of their time in school harboring dreams of decrepit rock clubs and buzzing amplifiers. They're young enough to veer off into any direction, but old enough keep their wits about them, resulting in a debut that sounds a lot like New York urbanites the Rachel's and the Clogs, but a little more dangerous.


Formed: 1999 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Canadian instrumentalists the Bell Orchestre formed in 2005 around the talents of bassist/percussionist/keyboardist Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), violinist Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire), drummer Stefan Schneider (the Luyas), French horn player Pietro Amato (Torngat, the Luyas), trumpet player Kaveh Nabatian, and lap steel guitar player Mike Feuerstack (Snailhouse). With influences that range from Lee "Scratch" Perry and Talk Talk to Arvo Pärt and the Penguin Café Orchestra, the Montreal-based outfit...
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Recording a Tape the Colours of the Light, Bell Orchestre
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