What's an ambitious young dance producer to do when he reaches the artistic limits of his samplers and synth after just four albums? The answer, at least for Jimi Tenor, is to hire an orchestra -- specifically, the Orchestra of the Great Theatre Lodz, Poland -- to help perform his new songs. Listeners fearing a dodgy classical crossover may be surprised that Tenor actually manages to pull this one off, basically by retro-fitting the orchestra into the kind of easy listening-funk big band so popular during the early '70s. Though the opener sounds like a chaotic Stan Kenton Orchestra soundtrack to some Cold War nightmare of a film, Tenor quickly slips into his usual lounge persona and sounds completely at home behind these wall-of-strings productions complete with plenty of vintage synthesizers and heavy, funky basslines. On the highlight "Spell," he imagines Caetano Veloso crooning a love song over "Theme From Shaft," complete with a sitar solo to close out the piece. On "Paint the Stars," Tenor vamps like a drugged-up Beck while a parade of fragile, plucked strings create a musical atmosphere straight out of Disneyland behind him. And he doesn't seem cowed by the thought that dozens of musicians are following his every move; he takes them straight into a trip through uproarious metal-funk on the instrumental "Blood on Borscht." There's a heavy dichotomy on Out of Nowhere, the competing forces being Tenor's overweening musical ambition and his utter lack of vocal talent (which isn't to say he's not a solid performer). Strangely though, Tenor makes it work, often in a similar fashion to orchestral indie rockers like Mercury Rev or Flaming Lips.
AllMusic Review by John Bush