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Major Organ and The Adding Machine
Major Organ and The Adding Machine
Orange Twin/The Elephant 6 Recording Co.

Major Organ - a mystery character, or simply an invented one, launched by the creative brains of Elephant 6? The "Major" is said to be living in a small town outside Denver. The story goes: After many years of wandering and travels the Major started to compose his thoughts and dreams onto sheet music. For many years the Major searched for a suitable vehicle to carry out his musical transmissions. Lacking the ability to play these notes on musical instruments, he acquired the help of the Elephant Six Orchestra. Major Organ's Lovely Heartful Band?

Truth or fiction, the music is proof of actual recordings. The documentation is entitled Major Organ and The Adding Machine, contributed by members of Neutral Milk Hotel, The Olivia Tremor Control, Elf Power, Of Montreal, plus others. No personal names or faces unveiled. The album contains strange fruit indeed. Music quite manyflavoured, multicolored, going in every direction at the same time. Hymns, psalms, circus acts, psychedelica, bouncing rock, rolling pop, loungy contemporary jazz, anything. You name it. Opening song, the space-psalm When Father was Away on Business sets the control (for the heart of the sun?), and tells us listeners what we might expect. Or? Next track, His Mister's Pet Whistles, is a more straightforward catchy pop sike, like the 60's inspired soundscapes the Olivia Tremor Control operate. Of the 19 tracks there are some quite short instrumental fragments, bearing odd titles like Kissing Behind the Rubbery Grinder, The Fireman's Guitar, and Abe Lincoln's Moustache. It seems like the album is of conceptual style, dealing with Abraham Lincoln (there's another short track called Powdered Abe Lincoln), baking (bread, pastry), and moonpies (or is that baking as well...?). There's Your Moonpie Eye, Moonpie Eye Sensation, and Do the Moonpie Eye. Or simply; the hilarious dreamscapes of the "Major".

Major Organ and The Adding Machine is witty, exciting and entertaining. However, the album as a whole is a bit too fragmented and loose. The uppers are: the charming tale of the pastry baking art of Madam Truffle, the fantastic Water Dripping on Bread Makes Bread Taste Not So Tasty (what title...) with its Sgt. Pepper-ish psychedelic sugar-spin chorus, the aforementioned His Mister's Pet Whistles, and the closing Life Form (Transmission Received), which is the albums rockiest moment. I also enjoy the shorter and more cryptic Swimming, Laughing, Playing, as well as the wildly anarchistic Francisco's Victory (also starring Mm. Truffle), sung 'a capella'. Summing up all this it seems like I've listed enough reasons to make this album buyable. Yup.

Orange Twin Records is a label and web site run by members of Elf Power and Neutral Milk Hotel which is raising funds for land preservation and sustainable development. Orange Twin Records, 475 Forest Road, Athens GA 30605, USA

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