Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The Small Hours By Orchestra Indigo


The Small Hours


Orchestra Indigo

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This new release from Rick Randlet as Orchestra Indigo has to be one of the most fascinating albums I have listened to thus far this year, and entitled The Small Hours. We are taken back to the lock down times of the pandemic and the loneliness of a single man, who now has copious amounts of hours and days of isolation to ponder his life’s path and how he arrived at the destination he now finds himself at.

The album itself is music that demands to be listened to, as it artistically sums up what many of us were feeling and thinking during those dark days, and each track of the 11 on the album are manifested to such a wonderfully high quality of both presentation and of performance, like the opening piece called Midnight. Here is a track that contains all the haunting vibrations of the early hours of the morning, when sleep becomes the unwilling partner and the mind a more able creator of a hatful of confusing scenarios. The artist paints a wonderful canvas of trepidation and aloneness with his keyboards on this splendid opening creation.

As the seconds and minutes pass the thoughts become darker and starker, here on Moments Of Uncertainty Randlet manifests a sublime creation of great foreboding, whilst on After The Rain, a certain neo-ambience can be found on a fluent and thoroughly creative offering.

This has to be one of the most unique albums I have heard for ages; in part it reminds me of the construction and storytelling style of an old Mike Rutherford album called Small Creeps Day back in the late ‘70’s. Tracks like Meditation On Departed Friends hits home hard, I mean we are still going through it now, wondering just who we have and had lost to this pandemic, the orchestration here is riveting, while on pieces like 4:44 AM Blues we have a soundtrack for those moments when you wake and it happens to be the same time every morning, a singular most evocative and melancholy energy can be found here.

The concluding musical narrative is entitled Day Spring, within the constraints of this piece one can indeed find all of the hope we would eventually regain, and this vibrational creation is the perfect musical watercolour with which to leave this incredibly moving and artistic compilation of great music with.

The Small Hours by Orchestra Indigo tackles a time that many have already forgotten, or who wish to now ignore, but was a very real threat to our lives and all power and respect to Rick for doing so, but in the production of this album we don’t just have a homage to those dark days and hours, we have an album that for me borders on the lands of genius and crafted artistry. I would urge anyone to get this album and sit alone with it for the whole of the release, and simply give gratitude that you are able to do so. A sublime and deeply moving album indeed.

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