ORGAN THING: Levitation Orchestra share an excellent new live video…


Now this looks and sounds rather delicious, a quick Organ Thing of The Day today, there’s other things to be dog, other places to be, it is a quick one but it is a rather good one . Nothing to do with Hawkwind or any band that might have featured members of Cardiacs and Ring as Levitation of course did. 

“Today, London’s foremost powerhouse collective, Levitation Orchestra, have released a live video for “Spiral (Die, Die, Die)”, taken from their performance at the EFG London Jazz Festival in 2021 and features dancers Caterina Danzico and Moses Ward. The track is taken from the collective’s critically acclaimed sophomore album “Illusions & Realities” via London tastemaker label and analogue specialists, Gearbox Records (Binker & Moses, Dwight Trible, Emanuel Harrold, Village Of The Sun)”  Hey we’re just sharing the press release, don’t be blaming us for the sophomore Americanisms or the tastemaker claims, we’re just offering this rather fine taste ourselves and serving up a quick bit of background….

“The captivating performance perfectly exemplifies the energy of a Levitation Orchestra concert, as the interpretive dancers weave and flex around each other, whilst the dramatic and cinematic track transforms and evolves moving between avant-garde instrumentation and moments of groove-heavy jazz. Speaking on the performance and video, trumpeter and musical director, Axel Kaner-Lidstrom, says “Spiral is a darker shade of Levitation Orchestra. We revel in its intensity and enjoy the chance to combine precision and discipline, with the absurd. We are so grateful that we found collaborators in the form of movement artists, Moses and Caterina who have captured this perfectly.”

“Since releasing their debut LP “Inexpressible Infinity” in late-2019, Levitation Orchestra have lit-up their home city, earning a cult-fanbase which has seen them sell-out Church Of Sound, as well as selling out all 500 copies of their vinyl release, and earning plaudits from the likes of NTS, Bandcamp, WWFM, Jazz FM and more. They also self-released a similarly lauded stand-alone single entitled “Wave Potentially” at the end of 2020 with all proceeds going to Tomorrow’s Warriors and Owó.

Bringing together a vast array of inspirations ranging across jazz, classical, electronica, soul, spoken word, and no-holds-barred free improvisation, Levitation Orchestra presents their most adventurous record to date with their latest album “Illusions & Realities”. With trumpeter Axel Kaner-Lidstrom (Cykada, Gary Bartz) as musical director, the collective comprises some of London’s most promising young musicians, who together play in or with the likes of Alabaster de Plume, Shunaji, Nihilism, PÆN, and Nardedey.

“Illusions And Realities” is a performance which captures live their journey in the creation of their second album. It witnesses the orchestra tying together the multiplicities of musical and social experiences into a suite of sumptuous sound, wild, and free. Speaking on the album in the liner notes, Axel says:

“Each composition reflects in detail on one of the subjects of our discussions. We formed splinter groups to translate our discoveries into sound and bring to life that which had both astounded and amused us. Over a series of workshops, we transformed these cells into orchestral pieces, the music never ceasing to mutate. These recordings you hold are merely one fixed point in our creative process. Should we have spent another moment on this music, it would have taken another form. It is earnest and honest, sincerely channelled through the spirits of its creators.”

The result is an entirely multifarious composition of progressive jazz music, which channels the energy of Sun Ra’s Arkestra, the ambience of Alice Coltrane, and the harmonic subtleties of Debussy, whilst ultimately producing something tantalisingly undefinable. From the tumultuous closing epic through to the mediative “Between Shadows” and the avant-garde, prog-inflected “Delusion”, there are moments of mind-bending experimentation and sinuous electronics, incendiary hip-hop and impassioned spoken word, groove-heavy jazz-riffing, intricate classical passages and much more.

The indelible underground jazz scene in London has always been collaborative in nature and continues to evolve and reshape itself in the eyes of those who are a part of it. As this next wave of young trailblazers come to the fore, they show the power and meaningfulness of this collaboration, by creating something which touches on important social, spiritual, and personal topics, whilst displaying an inimitable passion to explore and push the boundaries of jazz, both musically and conceptually, to create something entirely unique”.

Live dates:
1st April – The Albany, London – Tickets
20th April – In The Round Festival, Roundhouse, London – Tickets

“Illusions & Realities” is out now via Gearbox Records
Available on Gatefold 2xLP / Gatefold 1xCD and digitally + ltd. Japanese Edition vinyl & CD. THe album, they’re second, came out back in 2021, it is a rather beautiful journey of an album, an album laced with collourful emotion, you can hear it all on the band’s Bandcamp page, it might get dangerously close to be psychedelic at times, you have to catch it when you’re in the right frame of mind, there is some rather beautifully progressive jazz to be found flowing through it, and on the right day, when the feeling is right, the sun is out and the cynical smiles have been parked, it is a rather beautiful album….


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