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4.5 out of 5 stars17
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 19 April 2012
I believe Hidden Orchestra's Joe Acheson is a rare talent. His production - this album - is a work of great insight and love, and as such falls easily into the listen on repeat category. The CD is more a journey than an album, as the title suggestions, into the realm of the night, possibly out of the city through the rain into the cold, dark wilderness. Nature's elements are beautifully woven throughout this album but in subtle and ingenious ways. Wetland warblers morph into scratch beats. Glockenspiel becomes raindrop. Or does it? Its up to you. Instruments compliment nature beautifully, such as the string crescendo after the beautiful song of the wren on The Windfall for instance, cultivating an image of a beautiful spring morning overlooking a partially sun-lit English garden.

I also love how the cello is given a starring role in various solo appearances, and how unlikely heroes appear throughout; french horns and cornets beguile. The range of instruments and their employment alongside natural samples offers intrigue throughout. I've no idea what a kantele, zither or low whistle look like but it all adds to the interest. New instruments are discovered on repeated listens.

Some of the tracks have so many complex layers of sound its hard to keep track of whats going on, even with a keen ear and a decent stereo but thats not a bad thing. Better to sit back, listen and enjoy than try to over-analyse. One eventually becomes immersed in wonderful, building, flowing soundscapes, perhaps a bit like clouds lifting and re-forming around the dark and beautiful Sound of Mull on the title cover.

Potential listeners may be aware of other great bands out there ending '... Orchestra' and wonder what Hidden Orchestra bring to the fold. I think Hidden Orchestra has a unique style and has found its own worthy ecological niche through the fusion of nature, complex rhythms and rich and involving soundscapes. Highly recommended.
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on 20 May 2013
I started looking at Hidden Orchestra because Amazon reckoned that 'because I liked' Phronesis and Tingvall Trio, I also ought to like this.

In fact they weren't a million miles off the mark, although Hidden Orchestra feel as if they are not exactly the same kind of thing at all. There are jazz influences, but the music is more characterised by its textures and atmosphere, as well as the use of percussion. Some of the tracks are extremely strong (eg. 'Dust') and a few others less immediately accessible, or with a more limited palette - but overall, this is an intriguing, engaging album which you can't just put on as background music, and need to invest a little time focusing on the content.
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on 21 September 2010
I can't see me buying a better cd this year. It's a work of such complexity, depth and raw emotion, it grabbed me from the first splattering of raindrops on the opening Antiphon and didn't let go for the duration. I can actually imagine a Night Walk accompanied by this work, with all the euphoria, anxiety and dark foreboding that might accompany a leap into the dark. This album, I reckon, will acheive seminal status, well I hope it does, it deserves it.
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on 8 June 2011
One of the most promising discoveries I've made within last two or more years! The band sounds somehow typically for tru-thoughts and ninja-tune labels, it joins the music of classic ninja bands like cinematic orchestra, bonobo and blockhead with a slight jazz/funky improvisation from quantic or nostalgia 77... yet it's not another copy, as it might looks like! Hidden orchestra go their own way to make very refreshing pieces and to bring some new quality to the music. If you like the bands I've mentioned above it's another "must have' for you!
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I bought this because someone posted some clips of the band on a Progressive Rock forum. It didn't disappoint. The music is very cinematic, with samples and orchestral flourishes mixed in with laid back backbeats that are never overpowering. If you like bands like the "Cinematic Orchestra" and modern Jazz groups like EST you may well enjoy this a lot.
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on 19 January 2016
I bought this after buying, and loving, Archipelago and it's at least as impressive. One thing not mentioned, but maybe picked up by other reviewers, is how the final piece-Undergrowth-is based so closely on the Passacaglia from Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes. It starts very in line with the original and drifts off in a kind of jazz riff based on the recurring bass theme before returning more closely to the original towards the end. Maybe my ears deceive me-I'd be interested in others views of this.

Leaving that it!
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on 25 January 2011
This album has it all. Atmospheric beauty. I honestly can't fault this. It's hard to give this a genre as it crosses a few. With every listen it improves, I guess that it what is important. Enjoy!
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on 9 July 2011
Joe Acheson.....Bass guitar,Zither,Double bass,Kantele,
Piano,Glockenspiel,Bassoon,Guitar,Field recording and Design Programme.
Poppy Ackroyd.....Violin,Viola,Piano,Wurlitzer and Rhodes.
Tim Lane.....Drums and Trombone
James Graham.....Drums
This was an impulse buy,and well worth the money,this Scottish band seem capable of going a long way,the music is of a dream like quality blurring the barriers of Hip hop/Prog rock and ambient
The music ebbs and flows in a meditative way a nd is pleasant and enjoyable.
The fold out booklet is well produced and printed,A very listenable album.
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on 22 May 2015
This is a quite stunning album. It has great depth, just plop the headphones on and drift-away.

The only thing is that I have to put the headphones on because my wife and children hate it. I think the point is this is not incidental music, it has to be 'actively listened' to. Really great stuff though, nothing quite like it, buy it and you could be a stranger too.
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on 18 July 2013
I heard one song from radio and then I started to look up who is this great band. Finally I ordered many discs from amazon and I am even more positively surprised. Best discovery in past years!
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