Back in stock! 1966's Strange Strings is the zenith of Sun Ra's analysis of string instruments and, as its title suggests, the album documents Ra's exploration of their outer limits, charting a kind of vivisection of the timbral make up of the traditional string section. The introductory piece 'Worlds Approaching' sets jolting cellos alongside plodding timpanis and some wild brass and woodwinds which out-weird anything on the string front, but by the time we get to the more overtly exploratory title track, the music opens up considerably with grating discord being wrung mercilessly from every quarter, all the while a crazed percussive presence gives a spiny sense of urgency to proceedings. The main course here is 'Strange Strange' which had an entire side of vinyl all to itself on the original issue on Saturn Records. This is where Ra most clearly dismembers the traditional principles of string music, the contorted sounds transformed into something far more metallic sounding but for a few key moments of stillness that allow lonely string plucks to rise from the din. The piece 'Door Squeak' dating a year later than the original Strange Strings sessions is included as a previously unreleased bonus track. As the title suggests, the piece is based around the unruly yet highly musical creaking of a door hinge. It's incredible stuff, possibly even up there with the musique concrete experiments of Pierre Schaeffer that were happening around the same time across the Atlantic. Awesome.