Prior to playing with the Arcade Fire, multi-instrumentalist Richard Reed Parry and violinist Sarah Neufeld founded Montreal's Bell Orchestre, a six-piece experimental outfit, in 1999. Its post-rock sound is a complex clamor of finely tuned orchestration that indie-rock loyalists and literati alike should find enchanting.
More abstract than its Canadian neighbor Godspeed You Black Emperor! and a bit more daring than Autechre and Red Snapper, Bell Orchestre pulls from all sides on its debut album, Recording a Tape the Colour of the Light. The 11-song set is a hypnotic disarray of electronic twists, acoustic edges, and shifty momentum. "Throw It on a Fire" boasts a thunderous mix of handclaps, violins, percussion, brass, and sirens (!) for a riotous kind of hoedown. The two-part "Les Lumieres" builds upon Bell Orchestre's capricious approach, highlighting the album's overall wavering volume.
Don't overlook Recording a Tape. Bell Orchestre's ambitious collection of the finer bits of chamber music, post-punk, and contemporary electronic music is a much-needed addition to the rock canon.