Thursday, 18 April 2019

Max Richter ‎– Memoryhouse (2002)

Style: Modern Classical, Minimal
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: BBC, FatCat Records, Late Junction

01.   Europe, After The Rain
02.   Maria, The Poet (1913)
03.   Laika's Journey
04.   The Twins (Prague)
05.   Sarajevo
06.   Andras
07.   Untitled (Figures)
08.   Sketchbook
09.   November
10.   Jan's Notebook
11.   Arbenita (11 Years)
12.   Garden (1973) / Interior
13.   Landscape With Figure (1922)
14.   Fragment
15.   Lines On A Page (One Hundred Violins)
16.   Embers
17.   Last Days
18.   Quartet Fragment (1908)

Conductor – Rumon Gamba
Orchestra – BBC Philharmonic
Written-By, Producer – Max Richter

Max Richter’s debut album Memoryhouse was originally recorded with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in 2002 for the BBC’s Late Junction classical music label. A masterpiece in neoclassical composition, the album has languished in out-of-print obscurity since the dissolution of Late Junction as a label. Indeed, inquisitive listeners might now know Richter better for his earlier collaborations with electronic pioneers The Future Sound of London and Roni Size, as well as his elegiac score to Ari Folman’s 2008 animated documentary Waltz with Bashir. 
But Fat Cat Records has plucked Memoryhouse from the doldrums to introduce a new audience to Richter’s first major solo work, and give old fans an excuse to fall under its spell all over again. And what an intoxicating spell it is. A 65-minute journey through the beauty and tragedy of 20th century Europe, Memoryhouse is like an immaculately observed postcard journal, albeit one informed more by imagination than documentary accuracy. 
Opening track Europe, After the Rain sets the template for the album’s elegant aesthetic, with a breathy whisper and a crooning violin melody. The track’s central refrain is repeated throughout the album, whether to the toy box electronica of Untitled (Figures) or the baroque harpsichord of Garden (1973)/Interior. The repetition of musical themes set to diverse soundscapes helps to shape the album’s feel as a repository of scattered memories, like a muddled stack of old photographs.    
And this vagueness proves to be Memoryhouse’s greatest asset. Whilst some tracks have clearly identifiable reference points, most are left pleasingly open, allowing the listener to fill in the blanks. The thumping, apocalyptic bombast of Last Days might conjure up the sight of WW2 tanks rolling across the French countryside; Sarajevo’s swirling strings might send listeners sprinting down the backstreets of a war-torn city.       
Despite the album’s grounding in orchestral music, there’s much for the modern music fan to love here. Richter’s epic, cinematic exploration of sound has echoes in post-rock’s more restrained moments (Mono and Sigur Rós are good touchstones), and even in Beirut’s Eurocentric indie folk. 
This collection of evocative vignettes demonstrates why many filmmakers would happily donate a limb to have Richter scoring their movie, but the happy fact is that Memoryhouse will play infinitely better to the stories in your head. 
Chris Lo / BBC Review

The Ballistic Brothers ‎– London Hooligan Soul (1995)

Style: Trip Hop, Acid Jazz, Downtempo
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Junior Boy's Own

01.   Portobello Cafe
02.   Come On
03.   Soho Cab Ride
04.   I'll Fly Away
05.   Jah Jah Call You
06.   Mark's Lude
07.   I Don't Know
08.   Sister Song
09.   A Beautiful Space
10.   Steppin' Into Eden
11.   Peckings
12.   Uschi's Lament

Co-producer, Engineer – Grand Master Daddy Marc
Producer, Arranged By – Ballistic Brothers
Strings, Programmed By – Uschi Classen
Written-By – Ashley Beedle, Dave Hill, Diesel, Marc Woolford, Rocky, Uschi Classen

Annabel (lee) ‎– By The Sea... And Other Solitary Places (2015)

Genre: Electronic, Jazz, Classical
Format: CD
Label: Ninja Tune, IF Music

01.   Breathe Us
02.   I Will Lead Us
03.   Believe
04.   My Homeland
05.   Invisible Barriers
06.   Find Me
07.   Could It Be The Siren Lovers?
08.   Alone
09.   (1849)
10.   Suki Desu

Credits Performer, Songwriter – Richard E, Sheila Brown Ellis

Annabel (lee) has a voice so smooth and hypnotic it grabs hold and doesn't let go. By the Sea… and Other Solitary Places is a collaborative piece of work with Further Out Recordings' Richard E; the New York vocalist and Yorkshire producer are an unlikely match, but together, they make music that conjures visions of the surreal.  
(lee)'s admiration for English prose and poetry permeates the album and is clearly heard on "Alone," where her love of Poe's poetry — she's named his last completed poems — is most evident. The album highlights the charm of Annabel's vocals and Richard's impressive musical designs, which are steeped in jazz while mirroring 1800s classical compositions the album, which combine to deliver a hauntingly gorgeous landscape of sound. From the soft whispers of "I Will Lead Us," to the beautifully chilling "Breathe Us," to the jazz-influenced "(1849)," the album evokes a musical past being edged to the forefront of today's sounds. 
Jamie Goyman / exclaim!

Ambitious Lovers ‎– Lust (1991)

Style: Latin, Synth-pop, Experimental
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Elektra

01.   Lust
02.   It's Gonna Rain
03.   Tuck It In
04.   Ponta Da Lança Africano (Umbabarauma)
05.   Monster
06.   Villain
07.   Half Out Of It
08.   Slippery
09.   Make It Easy
10.   More Light
11.   É Preciso Perdoar

Bass – Melvin Gibbs
Drums – Tony Lewis
Guitar – Arto Lindsay (trac
Lyrics By – Arto Lindsay
Percussion – Naná Vasconcelos
Sampler – Peter Scherer
Synthesizer (Bass)– Peter Scherer
Vocals – Arto Lindsay
Backing Vocals – D.K. Dyson
Producer – Peter Scherer