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Orthotonics

Art-pop collective the Orthotonics shaped in Richmond, VA, in 1979. Saxophonist/vocalist Danny Finney, trumpeter Paul Watson, and drummer Pippin Barnett (the second option also an associate of Curlew) 1st teamed in 1975 in the improvisational jazz device Idiot Savant; using the arrivals of vocalist/guitarist Rebby Clear and bassist Phil Trumbo, the group used the name Ortho-Tones, modified towards the Orthotonics when bassist Tom Carson changed Trumbo in 1982. Despite their improvisational leanings and avant-jazz history, the group’s densely rhythmic, beat-intensive strategy earned them a solid following among followers of pop’s fresh influx, and in 1983 they released the cassette-only collection Available as Gravity. The Fred Frith-mixed AWAKEN You Must Keep in mind adopted in 1984. Reduced towards the trio of Clear, Finney, and Barnett, in 1986 the Orthotonics resurfaced with Luminous Bipeds; the group known as it quits in 1989, with Clear and Finney later on reuniting in the like-minded Rattlemouth.

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