Orchestra du Soleil

A Summer Day by the Lake

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A multi-layered, bossa-electronic soundtrack to those very hazy and languid days of summer, Orchestra du Soleil's debut works as the perfect aural sedative, with plenty of innocuous soundbites to keep one from drifting off altogether. Munich resident and Soleil main man Carl Oesterhelt moves on from his experimental, electro roots rock with F.S.K. to chime in on the future lounge and pop plied by the likes of the High Llamas and Stereolab. Oesterhelt -- with help from cohorts Stefane Tachuighi Bauer and Sylvie Penelope Schmidt -- subtly references the usual suspects (Beach Boys, Bacharach, Free Design, Mama & the Papas, Sergio Mendes, and French pop) to create original and cinematically dense pieces; often eschewing tight song forms, Soleil evokes spaciousness without getting too abstract. Punctuated by interludes replete with the sounds of birds, splashing water, insects, overhead jets, rain, bicycle bells, and babies, the material ranges from dreamy instrumentals sporting psych guitars and exotic percussion ("Seaweed") to harmony-rich songs adorned with electric piano, sitar, and flute ("Birth"). Amidst this variety, the bubbly, Technicolor trippiness never abates. So, close your eyes and indulge in some deep relaxation for the sampling-crazed jet set.

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