ESTRADASPHERE
Avant-garde Metal • United States

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From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estradasphere:

Estradasphere was an experimental band that originated in Santa Cruz, California during the late 1990s. The band, which in its last incarnation called Seattle home, consisted of 6 multi-instrumentalists from a variety of musical backgrounds trained in disciplines ranging from classical music and jazz to heavy metal.

Guitarist Jason Schimmel and bassist Tim Smolens met in 7th grade at Miraleste High School. In 1997, their band Don Salsa recorded its first album, "Koolaid Moustache In Jonestown." In 1998, Jason and Tim moved to Santa Cruz, CA. Jason attended UC Santa Cruz, along with Timb Harris, John Whooley, and Dave Murray. At that time, John, Tim, Jason, Dave, and Jason Conception played downtown in the streets of Santa Cruz. Jason Conception left the band to pursue Netwerk:Electric, his other project. In December 1998, Timb Harris joined the band. The band continued to play the streets and at local coffee shops.

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Palace of MirrorsPalace of Mirrors
The End Records 2006
Audio CD$1.51
$0.85 (used)
Palace of Mirrors LivePalace of Mirrors Live
Multiple Formats
The End Records 2007
DVD$6.97
$1.49 (used)
QuadropusQuadropus
Mimicry 2003
Audio CD$342.27
$24.95 (used)
Passion for Life [CD + DVD] by Estradasphere (2004-03-26)Passion for Life [CD + DVD] by Estradasphere (2004-03-26)
Web of Mimicry
Audio CD$58.26
Quadropus by Estradasphere (2003-10-28)Quadropus by Estradasphere (2003-10-28)
Mimicry
Audio CD$608.85
Palace of Mirrors by ESTRADASPHERE (2006-09-19)Palace of Mirrors by ESTRADASPHERE (2006-09-19)
The End Records
Audio CD$27.15
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ESTRADASPHERE Discography

ESTRADASPHERE albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.04 | 4 ratings
It's Understood
Avant-garde Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Buck Fever
Avant-garde Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Quadropus
Avant-garde Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 4.67 | 3 ratings
Palace Of Mirrors
Avant-garde Metal 2006

ESTRADASPHERE EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Silent Elk of Yesterday
Avant-garde Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Pegasus Vault EP
Avant-garde Metal 2008

ESTRADASPHERE live albums

.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Passion for Life
Avant-garde Metal 2004

ESTRADASPHERE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

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ESTRADASPHERE singles (0)

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ESTRADASPHERE Reviews

ESTRADASPHERE It's Understood

Album · 2000 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
ESTRADASPHERE was formed in 1998 in Santa Cruz, CA and a part of the extended Mr Bungle family as the band was formed by members of Trey Spruance’s (at the time) side project Secret Chiefs 3. This musical ensemble was founded by violinist and trumpet player Timba Harris and guitarist / banjoist Jason Schimmel of SC3 fame along with drummer Dave Murray. On their debut release IT’S UNDERSTOOD they take the Mr Bungle, Frank Zappa and John Zorn approach of applying technical wizardry, healthy genre shuffling and frenetic instrumental workouts that created mind-bending fusion styles such as "Bulgarian Surf", "Romanian Gypsy-Metal", and "Spaghetti Eastern" and sounded like "Psychedelic-Sci-fi", "Gypsy-Metal-Jazz" and “Epic-Cinema-Thon,” as described by the band itself.

Stylistically ESTRADASPHERE is somewhat similar to Secret Chiefs 3 from which they sprang forth only whereas SC3 used Middle Eastern music and Surf Rock as their template to experiment upon, ESTRADASPHERE uses the violin saturated styles of Balkan gypsy music and Klezmer as their foundation. That means generally speaking they begin a track with an energetic violin led outburst of rhythmic gypsy sounds that ride down the Mr Bungle highway as they genre skip and incorporate everything from bluegrass and klezmer to death metal and video game chiptune. Zappa influences are abundant with whimsical titles (“The Trials And Tribulations Of Parking On Your Front Lawn”) and hilarious musical contradictions (“Danse Of Tosho And Slavi / Randy’s Desert Adventure”) where frenetic death metal can sit side by side with placid slowed down classical violin solos. Same goes for the death metal meets yoga meditation chant on “Spreading The Disease” which finds evil sounding metal riffs alternating with relaxing soccer mom meditation class instructions!

“The Transformation” and “Planet Sparkle / Court Yard Battle 1” both find use for cleverly crafted use of classic old school video game music. The album is bookended by two monster tracks with the opener “Hunger Strike” clocking in at 19 minutes and 30 seconds. Both are based in the same Balkan gypsy folk music but deviate from their belying intros manyfold and seemingly leave no genre stone unturned in their wake and if that weren’t enough ESTRADASPHERE which is a band of highly trained virtuosos is quite playful in creating some of the most sophisticated and convoluted progressive rock time signature changes that never sound forced and always succeed in blowing the mind.

ESTRADASPHERE comes off much like Secret Chiefs 3 in their focus on the ethnic elements but is more adventurous and therefore seems a bit like a more refined and less schizophrenic version of Mr Bungle so in effect, the perfect extended family member of one of the most creative branches in the experimental rock universe. IT’S UNDERSTOOD is a highly enjoyable debut and one of my favorites in the band’s canon. It is well-paced with the disparate elements utilized for maximum effect while incorporating strong ethnically based hooks that often make you think you’ve crashed some sort of alternative music festival in Bosnia & Herzegovina or something! Very few musicians could pull off these musical gymnastics with such grace and precision but the members of ESTRADASPHERE truly conjured up some highly addictive musicomania. Another one that will surely please all the adventurous listeners out there.

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