Exposé Online banner

Horace X — Sackbutt
(Omnium OMM-2031, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-12-01

Sackbutt Cover art

In the mega-genre that is World Music there is a subgenre often called World Beat. Rather than being specifically from any part of the world, either in fact or in sound, World Beat combines elements found in widely varied cultures. Some of the most notable examples are Afro Celts, 3 Mustaphas 3, Dissidenten, and Azigza, but there are many more. Three ingredients that many World Beat practitioners have in common are reggae, African percussion, and Celtic melodies. Horace X present a somewhat eccentric new take on the formula (such as it is). Their basic foundation is a high-energy reggae/ska rhythm topped by reeds and violin that combine Celtic, gypsy and Middle Eastern flavors. Pete Newman's choice of reed instruments is clarinet and baritone sax, often multi-tracked in open-octave unison lines, giving the band a distinctive sound unlike anything I've heard. Vocalist Simon Twitchin favors Jamaican style rapping (sometimes called toasting), though he occasionally sings. This is a band that is incapable of confining themselves even to their own invented style, and one tune approaches a Public Image Ltd punk energy courtesy of a guest guitarist. While there are some cuts I really enjoy, the very eclecticism sometimes gets in the way, as if the band is trying so hard to sound like no one else that they have lost sight of sounding like themselves. (Note: The British release of this album is called Sackbutt Folk Spoil Sunday and contains one less track.)


Filed under: New releases, Issue 28, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Horace X

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Eskaton - 4 Visions – [This review was specifically about the 1995 reissue on the Ad Perpetuam Memoriam label. - ed.]Finally! After a long wait, the long promised CD reissue of Eskaton's cassette-only release is here....  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues