Orcas – Orcas (2012)


Orcas - Orcas (2012) cover

The question isn’t why Thomas Meluch (aka Benoît Pioulard) and Rafael Anton Irisarri decided to work together; it’s what took them so long. While Meluch’s music often resembles an amnesiac crooner making up karaoke lyrics for Boards of Canada instrumentals, and Irisarri splits the difference between Harold Budd and Gas (trending post-minimal under his own name and electronic as the Sight Below), both of them freely muddle up ambient, classical, electronic, and pop idioms in search of the ideal blend of melodic immediacy and formal opacity. And they’ve been moving in the same interlocked circles for years, recording for most of the bigger labels that steward this furtive electro-acoustic stuff: Kranky and Type (Pioulard), Room40 and Miasmah (Irisarri), and Ghostly International (both). Ticking another one off the list, they join forces as Orcas for this modest, entrancing Morr Music debut, which sounds in reality exactly how it sounds on paper: nocturnal ambient pop in the manner of Eluvium’s Similes, if Similes had benefited from the same rugged grandeur as Copia…pitchfork

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