ALBUM REVIEW: Under The Reefs Orchestra ‘Sakurajima’


Belgian experimental collective Under The Reefs Orchestra are back with their new album ‘Sakurajima’

The Brussels-based band, led by guitarist Clément Nourry, also including saxophonist Marti Melia and drummer Jakob Warmenbol follow up 2020’s eponymous debut album with an 8-track album which is continues their now signature blend of jazz and rock.

The album kicks off with three previously released, and very well received singles. First up is the creeping genre bending space rock oddity, of ‘Heliodrome’. A Kraut rock groove sprinkled with their trademark jazz tones get the album off in fine style.

Following this is ‘Ants’ with a steady drum beat enriched with funky guitar and a delicate mellow harmony from the brass which highlights the eclectic styles on permament show from Under The Reefs Orchestra.

Album title track ‘Sakurajima’ is up next. Named after the famous Japanese volcano, this vivid track erupts like the beast it’s named after whilst following track ‘Galapagos’ continues the listener on a journey of diverse influences.

The moody ‘Kudzu’ follows. This maybe the weaker track on the album, which in comparison to its siblings doesn’t get going quite as much. However, a pick me up is just around the corner with the cinematic stomper of ‘Mir’ which is an album highlight for this writer evoking images of smoky dusky Belgian jazz bars in which the band have learnt their trades before bursting into a Mogwai esq banger

‘Soleil Trompeur’ is a slower relaxing number before we close out the album with ‘Mendoza’ with its chugging guitars and jazz drums that dance together before the track ends suddenly and leaves you wanting to go back to the beginning for more. ..

‘Sakurajima’ is a unique album and one you need to add to your library or record collection. It takes you on a journey crossing boundary in an innovative take on post-rock. ‘Sakurajima’ gives Under The Reef Orchestra the chance to shine, wonderfully highlighting their multi-genre capabilities and the brilliance of its performers. A brave, boundary pushing album that opens your mind to what else can be out there. Give it a try.


  ‘Sakurajima’ is released on 23rd September on Capitane Records