I found this group, Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra, through a Discover playlist a while back, with their song Saturn Hoola Hoop. I loved it, and dumped it into a few playlists. Some orchestral EDM or something, a playlist I don’t remember making called idk sounds good now, and maybe a playlist for when I’m feeling a little rough at the edges. It’s a beautifully produced recording, with what sounds like a jazz orchestra sliced up and mashed back together á là early Amon Tobin.

Except it turns out I was completely wrong. It’s just an orchestra. There’s no samples or anything. Just instruments, jazz and orchestral, and very, very tight timing:

I only found this out when their new album, Vula, showed up on my Release Radar. The piece I got was the relatively uninteresting interlude, but the name of the group rung a bell, so I decided to check out the whole album.

And I…don’t know what I got. I don’t know what I expected, but I didn’t expect a journey of music that reminded me first of Penderecki, then of Aaron Copland if Jaga Jazzist played him (Jaga Copland? Aaron Jazzist?), then a slow descent into a jittery Ligeti-esque keyboard-mashing scattering of notes.

Armed with this strange realization, I went back and dug through Bum Bum, the album that led with Saturn Hoola Hoop and found a piece which sounds like a radio being tuned across channels of classical and jazz, an incredibly tight jazz-orchestra piece, and a slow and low build up of ambient sound into and out of coherency.

It’s surprisingly difficult to find information about AMEO in English (they’re based out of Berlin), and my German dates back to middle school, so I had to do some digging and Google-Translating to find out more about them.

The group was founded in 2006 and is conducted by their composer, arranger, and saxophonist, Daniel Glatzel. The group is “much more “band” than “ensemble””, and comprises a core group of 18 musicians, all of whom appear to have experience in a smattering of genres, leading to the intense mix that the band seems keen on.

I guess I have no idea what I’m listening too, but dang it’s neat.