WE REVIEW THE NEW EP FROM ORQUESTA 24 CUADROS – WHALE WALTZES
Something a little different here a Mexico City’s Orquesta 24 Cuadros bring us four unique cover versions snapping a variety of sounds.
This exciting ensemble, who are known as O24C for short, came together in 2016 and consist of musicians with backgrounds in differing genres. Their individual talents span across Blues, Jazz, Rock and more. The result when they come together? A wonderful concoction of influences and a truly rich sound. With this five-track release they have reimagined some of their personal favourites, putting their own unique spin on the tracks.
First up is a version of Tom Waits I’ll Be Gone. I say version rather than cover, as to call it a cover would be a slight discredit. They borrow the basics of the song but as you’d expect with such talent, they turn it into something different. The jazz influences in their ranks shine through brightly throughout. There is an experimental nature to their music which Waits himself would surely nod warmly to. It provides the perfect opener for this latest release.
Me-Jane is up next. Taking on a PJ Harvey cover is no easy task, but O24C leap into it and undoubtably do it justice. This tune feels like serval tracks all wrapped up into one. The opening sequence is brimming with brass and synths. It does fall back into line with what we’d expect a Harvey cover to sound like, but continues to be exciting. It is striking how the artists they have chose to provide the originals here are all in themselves known for their experimentation, but O24C manage to take that up a notch with each one.
They follow up with a slightly more obscure offering. Part One Of The Cowboy Trilogy, originally by Sean Lennon will be a new track to most of us. This track pushes the boundaries a little less than the previous two. It does, however, provide a slightly needed lull to allow you to catch your breath after the opening couple.
Continuing to show their brilliantly diverse plethora of influences, they then dive into Blues In C Sharp Minor. The original track approaching its 90th birthday, it offers a tremendous counterbalance to the rest of the EP. Here the blues influences come to the fore and we are transported back decades and across the Atlantic with its soothing rhythms. The song feels as it almost catalogues the progression of the genre itself in the opening beats, as the acoustic riffs slowly transform into electric, before those hints of Jazz appear once again. For me this is musically the highlight of the album, and a track which showcases the almost unfathomable array of talents they collectively possess.
Finishing by turning the whole progression of the release completely on its head, they end on Waving My Dick In The Wind. A wonderfully named track, they take what was originally a quite comedic and very upbeat track from Ween, and turn it into a slow ballad. It takes some really impressive work to turn these lyrics into something which feels so beautifully deep. They do kick it up a notch to close the track, and this is the point where the EP reaches its catchiest. A great note to end on.
Its hard to even sum up this EP in truth. It feels like a collection of tracks from different artists of different eras that have all been crammed in together, but somehow it works. We review all sorts of new music here at RGM, but this is completely different. Each song offers something different, and its that unpredictability that keeps you guessing and keeps it so fresh throughout. O24C have to be heard to be understood, take a listen below.