Album of the Week: Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp | We’re OK. But We’re Lost Anyway

I enjoy heady music when there’s plenty of body mixed in.

Adorcist, hypnotic and post-syncratic, the Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp, far from Tzara’s manifesto, is somewhere between Hugo Ball’s phonetic psalms, a Sufi procession that turns into a brawl, and a voodoo ritual, but always with a precision proper to the monomania of an asperger.

Its easy to mistake Dada’s prankishness with a lack of seriousness, but nothing could be further from the truth. Tzara, Ball, Schwitters, Duchamp, et. al. raised Dada up against the “butchery of the 1914 World War” and nationalism, noble endeavors indeed.

The Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp is a musical collective, founded in 2006 by Vincent Bertholet, a troupe of changing numbers comprised of 12 players for this outing.

Mixing free jazz, post punk, high life, brass band, symphonic mixtures and kraut rock, their sound only goes beyond the limits of genre. Transcendental, almost ritualistic, the music is coupled with powerful lyrics, declaimed in rage against a world that is falling apart.

And if you know me, you know I find it nearly impossible to pass up any music that includes “Marcel Duchamp” in the band name! or album title. To my mind, Duchamp was a master at putting the viewer in uncomfortable places, forced to reflect on the ramifications of placing too much importance on single point, i.e. the viewer’s, perspective.

“I force myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.” ― Marcel Duchamp

We’re OK. But We’re Lost Anyway as Dadaist voodoo ritual has a certain appeal, but it is, above all else, a howlin’ good time. When all else fails, dance.