Band Roster 2 Column
High Castle Teleorkestra (HCT) is a newly-formed remote music ensemble whose members have played in various ground-breaking bands such as Estradasphere, Mr. Bungle, Farmer's Market, Umlaut, Probosci, I.S.S., Don Salsa, Secret Chiefs 3 and more. Comprised of middle-aged collaborators scattered about the globe, HCT focuses on superbly-produced, pluridimensional, enigmatic recordings. HCT was initially spearheaded by a couple of working stiff dads, and recovering former professional musicians who cannot seem to shake the lure of music; best friends who have yet to meet in person:
- Tim Smolens (Estradasphere, I.S.S., Don Salsa, etc): bass/producer/keyboards/cello/arrangement/composition (lives in Denver Colorado)
- Chris Bogen (Doc Booger): guitars/co-producer, analog synth, composition (lives in New Orleans, Lousiana)
The group is rounded out by a kooky cast of distinguished characters in the small time world of “avant-garde” music including:
- Bär McKinnon (Umlaut, Mr. Bungle): tenor saxophone/flute/keyboards/clarinet/composer (lives in Melbourne, Australia)
- Dave Murray (Estradasphere, Traun): drums/composer, resident metal specialist (lives in Southern California)
- Timba Harris (Estradasphere, Secret Chiefs 3, Probosci): violin/viola/trumpet/composer (lives in France)
- Stian Carstensen (Farmers Market) accordions/composer/our resident Bulgarian music specialist/virtuosic multi-instrumentalist. (lives in Norway)
Fearing that their first full length album (tentatively slated for Fall 2021 release) would take too long, HCT has released 2 deluxe double singles which feature 2 new songs each, as well as a slew of intriguing bonus remixes, chord charts, demos, extensive liner notes, artwork and other goodies. The recordings are available as download, limited-edition 7-inch, and there are also T-shirts.
The music is not unlike what might be expected from a group with such a diverse collective musical résumé, yet is somehow fresh, vibrant, and dare we say mature in its eclectic cadence. The musical terrain traversed by this largely instrumental group includes long forgotten European waltz's with untimely bursts of "Vaudeville Grindcore", Italian cinema erotica, Romanian gypsy metal, 50's sci-fi-surf instrumentals, various unorthodox uses of metal (including Stravinsky adaptations), songs in the 47/64 meter, non-standard tuning systems, a variety of special guests, and much more. There are densely layered productions enriched by obsessive attention to detail, starkly unrelated genre superimposition, unclassifiable styles, ultra-refined chord progressions, sonic timbres that Joe Meek would've been proud of, inscrutable metric modulations and more. Despite the wide array of styles, the recordings are surprisingly cohesive. There is an odd mixture of hi-fi and lo-fi components that converge to make aesthetically pleasing recordings that sound as if they were produced on a 1970's 2-inch tape machine. Despite the convenient aid of modern machinery in our productions, HCT cuts no corners, and even runs their final mixes to JH110B ¼ inch analog tape to round out their warm sound.
HCT aims to blow minds, satisfy souls, and quench the musical thirst of those who have sorely missed any or all acts from the graveyard of defunct, semi-defunct, and active bands we have helped populate. High Castle Teleorkestra takes the listener on a blustering ride across the universe atop the pink beam of an ancient satellite.