Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra Take Off!

Wacky and hugely fun, this 20-piece German outfit rip through their zany material with energy and effervescence to burn. Reed player Daniel Glatzel writes charts that skilfully combine the turn-on-a-dime tactics of cartoon master composer Carl Stalling with the madcap musical antics of Spike Jones and the full throttle, multi-metric mayhem of Frank Zappa. And when Mega Express launch, where they go and how they get there are utterly unpredictable. "Gamma Pluto Delta" careens from Star Wars John Williams-isms to Muzak to infomercial to Bourne Identity car chase with hairpin turns of phrase and changes of instrumental colour, all without breaking out of its relentless forward motion. There's gutsy jazz blowing over chord changes on "Asteroids!" and "Radioactive People" sounds like a lost track from The Jetsons, featuring a squalling "battle" between tenor saxist Johannes Schleiermacher and trombonist Gerhard Gschlössl. Take Off! is overflowing with joyous music making. (Alien Transistor)