Tinderbox Orchestra, Teviot Debating Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 25 March 2012
Successful 'classical electronica' experiment
If there’s a slight school concert style to Tinderbox Orchestra’s Teviot show – word processed programmes, arts and craftsy venue design, uniform dress and branded music books - it’s quickly blown into another realm by stunningly executed music.
Opening with a quivering version of Xploding Plastix’s ‘Joy Comes in the Morning’ Tinderbox’s full instrumental force is spine-tingling. The culmination of a ten-week project exploring the nuances of contemporary electronic music within their usually classical medium, highlights include a sublime cover of Bonobo’s ‘Black Sands’ and the playfully titled ‘Captain Beefheart’s Memorial Picnic’, a drama-fuelled, blues-influenced composition. Keen to prove orchestras ‘aren’t just glorified cover bands’ they also present a self-penned piece, ‘Badgerfeast’, echoing symphonic rhythms and instrumental loops drawing clear electro influence.
Tinderbox have two heavyweight mentors present: Conquering Animal Sound, who accurately predict playing a collaborative track with the fifty-strong group will be ‘claustrophobic and excellent’, and the outstandingly talented Anchorsong (aka Masaaki Yoshida). A thundering rendition of his track ‘No Virus No Fever’, filled with clickety sci fi sounds, plush grooves and euphorically built songcraft, brings the set to a close, orchestral arrangement delivered with striking synergy. From what was an inspired idea, Tinderbox Orchestra are quickly becoming a musical tour de force.