Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica

Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica

Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica

Third River Rangoon

Exotica For Modern Living

What’s the exact inverse of punk? Probably exotica — it’s melodic, planned out, slow, relaxing, and best enjoyed by men in tuxedos and women in tiki print sundresses. You sip, not spit, your hair is perfectly coiffed not spiked, and you might make out instead of moshing. Third River Rangoon presents a collection of new cuts from Mr. Ho (aka Brian O’Neill) — his last foray covered (or reproduced) originals by the famous Mr. Esquivel. These songs are not quite as snappy, but explore the sonic jungle in a more confident and visceral manner. Some cuts are derived from the classics; “Colorado Waltz” flows from jazz legend Carl Tjader and “Arab Dance” riffs off Tchaikovsky, but most of this flute and marimba magic seems original. It’s hard to argue with “Lonesome Aku and Alewife” or “Terre Exotique” when you’re chowing down on pineapple and rum-encrusted pork. Behind Mr. O’Neill’s jungle we find Geni Skendo on bass flute (perhaps hand carved from a stick of bamboo), Noriko Terada on “live” percussion (no drum machines here), and Jason Davis on bass. It sounds like there are way more instruments but with the mysterious layered sound of Mr. Ho, there could be an entire army of grass-skirted musicians lurking behind the angry tikis on the back cover. In a land of volcanoes and modest bikinis, this is the disc to play in your long house while the Mai Tais marinade your Mad Man brains. Aloha, Danno, is that a REAL tsunami? Cool…

Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica:

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