The Sleeping Shaman is currently streaming Arch Nova, the new EP from improv jazz/rock trio ODD CIRCUS, in its entirety. The premiere comes in advance of the EP’s official release this Friday, June 25th.
Compiled from free improvisations performed live from July 22nd to July 30th, 2020, Arch Nova follows the recent release of the band’s critically lauded Mantha EP and serves as the second installment of a planned EP series. The release was recorded by the band, mixed by Crews Carter and ODD CIRCUS, and mastered by Joseph Carra at Crystal Mastering in Melbourne, Australia, with cover art by Ahmad Lutfi a.k.a. Pert Doherty.
Writes The Sleeping Shaman of the mind-bending offering, “If you have a hankering for Mothers Of Invention-era Zappa along with elements of kraut, psych, and prog, albeit sans guitar, then you’ve come to the right place as ODD CIRCUS will be just the ticket.”
Adds the band, “One of our favorite things to do as a band is to take time exploring uncomfortable spaces. What’s comfortable, what’s easy – those feel to us like traps. Instead, the challenge is to seek out some unfamiliar territory and see if we can find something unexpected there. That seems much more interesting.
“In these tracks we felt an element of danger and uneasiness, and that suspenseful vibe felt like it told a story. We imagine a post-apocalyptic world littered with man-eating mutants, as our main character navigates his way to humanity’s last refuge — Arch Nova. Along the way, a relentless killer and former military commander chases him for sport. We don’t want to spoil the ending, so as to whether he makes it, you’ll just have to listen and decide for yourselves.”
Stream ODD CIRCUS’ Arch Nova, courtesy of The Sleeping Shaman, at THIS LOCATION
Through improvisation, ODD CIRCUS’ music explores the suspension of space and time navigating a boundary-less sonic landscape that embraces the unknown and welcomes the bizarre. The result is an experimental style of psychedelic art-rock that weaves its way into garage, fusion, krautrock, no wave, post-rock, noise, hard psych, and sci-fi prog.
Arch Nova will be released digitally via the band’s own Good Idea Music. For preorders, visit the ODD CIRCUS Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION
After operating underground for several years, ODD CIRCUS – saxophonist Graham Robertson, drummer Partin Whitaker, and bassist/sound engineer Crews Carter – debuted its first release Lunatic Children in 2019 and soon amassed a cult following on Instagram. The band re-entered the studio in July 2020 and kicked off the first of a series of releases from these sessions in April 2021 with Mantha – a bold six-track EP imagining aural visitations from supernatural creatures. “It’s the kind of thing that fans of Zappa, Mike Patton, Cardiacs, The Residents, etc. are gonna eat up,” wrote BrooklynVegan, adding, “and like all of those artists, ODD CIRCUS really earn the right to be as weird as possible. It’s not that the music isn’t self-indulgent, it’s just that they make self-indulgence sound really fucking awesome.” The Prog Space lauded the EP’s, “bizarre sound [that] takes you to a quick extraterrestrial adventure,” and awarded a rating of 9/10, while Avant Music News championed, “…an intense and structured jam session that never lets up. It manages to be both spacious and full of notes, making it an enjoyable and rewarding experience.”
“ODD CIRCUS is an unusual combination of styles. Their main thrust is sax-driven rock played in a metal style, but without guitar. This is coupled with free improvisation and avant-garde dabblings. Accordingly, their music exhibits a sense of openness despite being grounded in driving, yet creative, rhythms.” – Avant Music News
“The rhythmic pulse of the recordings is remarkably consistent and much more as would be expected of a rock recording; this basis provides a canvass over which the saxophone becomes the creative mainspring, augmented by effects which doubtless reinforce the science-fiction concepts of dystopia and horror.” – Sentinel Daily