Peace Orchestra Peace Orchestra

Even with repeated listens to Peace Orchestra's debut, it's difficult to comprehend that one person is capable of creating a work that is filled with such depth, movement and beauty. A solo project by Peter Kruder of Kruder & Dorfmeister fame, the mainly instrumental album truly allows his compositional skills to shine through. Peace Orchestra's sounds are darker, more brooding and slightly more electronic than those of K&D; though the sounds here are equally textured, the pretty, lush and Latin-influenced elements are far less prominent. "Meister Petz" will perhaps the most familiar-sounding for K&D fans; the song's incredibly full production encompasses beautifully treated baritone clarinet, french horn, dubby basslines and wicked midtempo beats - unbelievably, all samples. "I sample live instruments, but I play with them," offers Kruder. "I hardly take loops off records or whole bars of melodies; most of the time I just sample tiny little bits, play around and try to find the melody, rhythm or bass line." The track, like the album as a whole, is cinematic and moody, telling a tale to those who choose to listen. "Every time I'm creating a song, I'm first trying to set a mood," he shares. "I rarely start with beats — I start with the things around them, the harmonies and the mood, then the beat comes along." They certainly do, in a variety of tempos and tones, with the stunning "Double Drums," a constantly shifting percussive piece that builds from its funky, Brazilian-influenced first half to break into darker, jazzy drum & bass patterns. The album goes on to span from Middle Eastern flavours with "Marakesh" to the thick, brooding downtempo of "Who Am I," complete with vocal samples reminiscent of Nina Simone. The odd, raw and minimalist "Shining" is the one true vocal track, featuring keys, sampled timpani, and the compelling if off-key voice of Kruder's partner, Chilli Bukasa. "Sometimes she'll go down to the studio and tell me that I should set up the microphone and she just sings onto the DAT, without music. It's good because I can't tell her 'Do this, do that,' as she's not trained, she just sings what comes out of her." Much as the talented Kruder 'just' creates what comes out of himself. (G-Stone)