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Estradasphere Biography 

 

Estradasphere (1999-2008) was a band of multi-instrumentalists from an unlikely variety of musical backgrounds. At one time or another the band consisted of Timb Harris (violin/trumpet), Jason Schimmel (guitar/banjo/keyboards/vocals), Tim Smolens (upright and electric bass/vocals), John Whooley (sax, vocals), Dave Murray (drums, metal inspiration), Kevin Kmetz (Tsugaru Shamisen/guitar/keyboards), Adam Stacey (accordion/keyboards/clavinet), and Lee Smith (drums/percussion) who were trained in disciplines ranging from classical, rock,  jazz, experimental, to metal. This diverse instrumental and stylistic palette enabled them to execute a vast array of orchestrations and even forge entirely new genres such as "Bulgarian Surf," "Romanian Gypsy-Metal," and "Spaghetti Eastern." 

Estradasphere's final studio album (2006), Palace of Mirrors, with it's cinematic music and production connotes a narrative that cuts across time, space, and genre. Estradasphere concerts feature the accomplished musicians and an innovative visual team. Their live show for "Palace of Mirrors" was an extension of the surreal sci-fi storyline alluded to in the music. In each performance, as the themes of the music associate with the enigmatic video and live-camera projections, a dynamic film is created in which the members of Estradasphere are both the characters and the soundtrack orchestra. 

After forming in Santa Cruz, California in 1999, Estradasphere's first three studio albums were released on Trey Spruance's (Mr. Bungle) Mimicry Records.  Many Estradasphere members also record and perform with Spruance's current project, Secret Chiefs 3.  Estradasphere's four studio albums, two live concert DVD's, six international tours, and ongoing "psychedelic-cinema-thon" concerts have earned them a loyal following worldwide. 

 

“...Palace of Mirrors” is a sonic tapestry which weaves seemingly incongruent sounds together with a surprising grace and seamlessness. A conglomeration of a vast array of styles and instruments. From classical, to surfer rock, to electronica, “Palace of Mirrors” is a vast soundscape featuring exceedingly diverse instrumentation... "  

- Farron Watson - thegreatnothing.com 

"...Estradasphere have gone instrumental on the whole of Palace of Mirrors, which winds up shining an even brighter spotlight on their impeccable and astounding musicianship."  - Eduardo Rivadavia (allmusic.com) 

"...Each track on Palace of Mirrors conjures up an intriguing landscape and story, whether it is passing through some Arabian bazaar, or following the fantastic escapades of some 60's super spy. “Palace of Mirrors” sounds as if it's jumped right out of Danny Elfman's repertoire, the score to some as of yet undreamt Tim Burton feature, with just a hint of Balkan gypsy flavor. Though it would be easy for such a pick-and-mix of musical styles to become little more than a chaotic mess, Estradasphere manage to hold it all together."  - scene point blank 

“Palace of Mirrors” is sometimes metal, sometimes jazz, usually indescribable and always pushing the boundaries of your expectations. The transitions between styles within the tracks are part of the amazing feat of the album."
-   J. Brock McCoy - Associated Content