Fifteen-piece Belgian big band Flat Earth Society is the sonic equivalent of a freak show--weird, wonderful and like nothing you've come across before. Cheer Me, Perverts! is bursting with the energy of punk--sharing some of the anarchy, too--yet the CD exhibits intricate section harmonies and wonderful contrapuntal melodies. The soloists revel in their freedom, and the playing is characterized by idiosyncrasy and skill in equal measure. Zappa-esque and Ellingtonian in turn, Balkan brass meets 1970s prog rock, Cheer Me is a stirring concoction, which could be the soundtrack for a Terry Gilliam film about a traveling freak show careering through ...read more
Sit up and listen. Flat Earth Society is a big band with the integrity of a magpie, in the sense that it goes for the shiniest elements of a cultural outlook that takes in a kind of homage to Kurt Weill, incidental music for old TV detective series, and perhaps a touch of Henry Cow at its most formal. All that makes for listening that could have you laughing out loud or wondering happily over the sheer bravura of it all.
Catch an earful of Clusterthing," featuring a riff ponderous enough to make a stampede of elephants seem fleet of ...read more
This Belgian big band has made quite a name for itself on the international underground scene. After touring with Mike Patton's postmodern metal band Fantomas, the group accrued some well deserved notoriety for its boundless spirit and unconventional outlook. While the members of the Flat Earth Society can readily ply pre-war 1940s big band charts with conviction and emotional commitment, they can also whip up a frenzy in the matter of such postmodern iconoclasts as John Zorn and Phillip Johnston.
With a cracked aesthetic residing somewhere between Carl Stalling, Raymond Scott and Frank Zappa, the FES projects an ...read more