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"Archipelago" is the second album from Hidden Orchestra, who were recently highlighted by the Independent On Sunday as one of their "Sounds Of The Summer" 2012. Following the release of their 10,000 selling debut, "Night Walks", their intricate yet viscerally emotive and energetic sound has won them critical acclaim and a diverse fanbase, from bass and hip hop heads to jazz and classical aficionados to rock fans.

The core quartet of Hidden Orchestra is formed around the duelling drum kits, percussion and electronic pads of two drummers, Tim Lane and Jamie Graham, completed by Poppy Ackroyd's distinctive, multi-faceted violin and piano playing and Joe Acheson’s bass and original samples. Hidden Orchestra have seen their star rise steadily and emphatically since the release of their debut, with an organic buzz building as they have toured their highly in-demand live show almost non-stop through over 20 countries, in addition to tour support stints for the likes of Bonobo.

"Archipelago" sees Acheson, the musical mastermind behind the talented Edinburgh four-piece, continuing to explore and develop many themes that emerged on their debut, adding new ideas, guest players, instruments and found sounds; to name a few, listen up for tap-dancing, bagpipe drones, and Acheson stomping in snow and ice.

New instruments contributing to the many layers of "Archipelago" include the musical saw of multi-skilled cellist Su-a Lee (as heard to spine-tingling, sci-fi effect on “Vorka”); clarsach and electro-harp from Scottish folk musician Mary MacMaster; clarinet care of Czech musician/composer Floex; and Phil Cardwell’s uniquely versatile trumpet tones. In addition, you’ll hear a range of kantele and zithers which Acheson (also a Sony-nominated radio producer and presenter) found and recorded at a school for the blind in Finland, while on location for a radio documentary.

In sampling found sounds and inspired improvisation, alongside his skills as a composer, Acheson instils in the music of Hidden Orchestra an anchor to its earthly environment, while often conjuring an ethereal atmosphere and fragility that can whisk the listener off to another world; there are moments of feeling suspended somewhere in between. Just as the first album evoked, in Acheson’s words, “the brooding reflections of a solitary walk through the still, restless night”, "Archipelago" takes us on “a voyage around a group of islands - built from the same materials but each with its own character, its particular arrangement of rocks, shoreline, flora and fauna – amid seas and skies which are forever changing”. Acheson captured bird and wave sounds on a boat and ashore on the tiny remote Scottish island North Rona, when he and Poppy accompanied her father, the artist Norman Ackroyd, on a trip to gather sketches for his etchings - including the one of nearby island Roaireim, which they used on the album cover.

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