MAGIC MIX

soundtracks . library music . exotica . easy

WEEK STARTING 21 Sep

Genre pick of the week Cover of Les Esclaves by Popera Cosmic.
For the few people lucky enough to have heard the entire album in the five decades since its release, the mythical Popera Cosmic LP is now considered to be France’s first dedicated psychedelic album and the shrouded blueprint for the hugely influential Gallic concept album phenomenon that followed, including Serge Gainsbourg’s ‘Histoire De Melody Nelson’ and Gérard Manset’s ‘La Mort D’Orion’.

Spearheaded by François Wertheimer (songwriter for Vangelis, Barbara and Byg Records), composed with future Jodorowsky soundtracker and genius all-rounder Guy Skornik and based on an embryonic concept co-conspired by a teenage Jean-Michel Jarre, this instantly-deleted 1969 recording is a true essential for any outernationalradicalised record collection.  With credentials that mark the birth of the cosmic funk (later disco) that helped shape the influential sound of France today, this album also includes the first pressed instrumentals by members of Space Art, some of the best orch rock arrangements by William Sheller (Lux Aeterna, Eriotissimo) and orchestrator Paul Piot (Jean Rollin), as well as sitar psych benchmarks courtesy of uber legend Serge Franklin - all pinned down by the rhythm section that would later be known to prog aficionados as Alice.

Subtitled ‘Les Esclaves’ (The Slaves), this street theatre / rock opera (influenced by the work of Julien Beck’s Living Theatre) now celebrates its 50th birthday standing firmly as a sonic tome to the birth of the no-no era (that rebuked France’s ‘yé-yé’ hamster wheel) leading directly to the thematic progressive network of Wakhévitch, Manset and Magma while comprising an inter-Gallic intergalactic super group from the early annals of France’s pop psych revolution. Imagine a rock opera where the cast of Mister Freedom perform ‘Clash Of The Titans’ at the foot of The Holy Mountain - then pinch yourself.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Screwball psych-Francais reissued by the digging brains at Finders Keepers - lunatic street theatre meets rock opera as a shadowy no-no flip to the ye-ye movement.

Julee Cruise

The Voice Of Love

    25 years after its initial release, Julee Cruise’s sophomore album The Voice of Love is being issued for the first time on vinyl as a deluxe 2xLP, and returning to print on CD.

    In 1992, after the release of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, David Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti, and Julee Cruise returned to the studio with new compositions as well as the intent to craft previously instrumental score-based material from Fire Walk With Me and Wild at Heart into Julee Cruise songs. The result was 1993’s final studio album The Voice of Love, a gorgeous ethereal album, which like her debut “Floating Into The Night” had a dreamlike, cinematic feel to it.

    “In the studio, David would always say ‘[sing] like an angel, like an angel…” Cruise remembers.

    Jóhann Jóhannsson

    Mandy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

      Before his death in February, Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson scored the forthcoming horror film Mandy. This is Jóhannsson’s final score.

      The ‘Mandy’ score was co-produced by Jóhann and Randall Dunn. It features Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley on guitar. The album was later assembled with the help of co-producers Pepijn Caudron and Yair Glotman.

      Jóhann Jóhannssonn is recognised as one of the best modern film composers. His score to ‘The Theory Of Everything’ won a Golden Globe for Best Original Score and was nominated for the same Academy Award, whilst his stunning work on ‘Sicario’ also earned him the Academy Award nomination for best score. His other notable works include ‘Arrival’, ‘Prisoners’ and ‘The Mercy’.

      Directed by Panos Cosmatos and starring Nicholas Cage, ‘Mandy’ is about a man who hunts the religious sect responsible for killing his wife.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Translucent red vinyl.

      Brocker Way

      Wild Wild Country : Original Music From The Netflix Documentary Series

      'To describe Wild Wild Country as jaw-dropping is to understate the number of times my mouth gaped while watching the series...' The Atlantic // Wild Wild Country by Brocker Way features 15 tracks from the critically acclaimed Netflix documentary series. Way also scored the film The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014) staring Kurt Russell and #TAKEMEANYWHERE (2018) starring and directed by Shia LaBeouf.

      Working closely with his brothers and a skilled technical team including mix engineers Joey Waronker (Atoms for Peace, David Byrne, Beck, R.E.M.) and Tom Biller (Kanye West, Jon Brion, Kate Nash), and percussionist Neal Morgan (Joanna Newsom, Bill Callahan), Brocker Way’s original score for the Netflix docu-series Wild Wild Country is meant to reflect the outlook of each of the show’s interviewees rather than simply emphasizing their outward idiosyncrasies. Such an approach invites the listener to inhabit the myriad personalities and situations in the show from a virtual first-person perspective, sculpting a deeply empathic auditory experience capable of standing on its own as an album.

      In Way’s words 'This kind of music gives us an idea as to the motives of each talking head, without actually scoring the motives of the character, and hopefully entices us as the audience to take the journey with them. When the Rajneeshees are building their town, you get to feel that and be right there with them. When Dave Fronmeyer is building his case, you get to feel the nobility he saw in his cause, and we hope to put you right in the room with him when he’s doing it. When a city inspector has to go onto the ranch you can feel the fear as you sit in the car with him. That’s the goal anyway.' 

      After recent reflections on kosmische sonics and soft focus synthesis, Origin Peoples' latest release is an in-depth exploration of our universal dance floor grammar from Italian producer Whodamanny. A key member of Naples' cosmic funk contemporaries, Rafaele has put his psychedelic stamp on Periodica, both in solo mode and as a member of the notorious Mystic Jungle Tribe.
      His debut solo LP, (and first outing on Origin Peoples) 'T.C.P.' travels a retro-futurist timeline between the esoteric electronics of Italy's rich library heritage and a chrome-clad brand of robotic body music perfect for the off-planetary resorts of the near future. Coastal, cosmic, funky and far out, this is the perfect distillation of the Neapolitan sound that’s been turning heads and moving bodies in recent years.
      In its fleeting half-life, the fragmentary 'Eurasia Aborigine' serves as both introduction and adjustment period, exposing us to a swell of electromagnetic pulses and establishing the synthetic flavours to follow. Launch protocol complete, 'Centum-Satem' employs maximum thrust, hurtling through proto techno sequences, breathless snares and a bubbling bassline while solar flares provide flashes of extreme ASMR stimulus. 'Hypothesis And Contradictions' brings things back down to cruising pace, the metallic chime of a hypnogogic percussion grid underpinning the freeform bleeps of Manny's radiophonic workout. Growing in amplitude, these electronic abstractions bleed into the opening bars of 'Electronic Sheets', building anticipation before the track flickers into the maximal sound of high grade synth funk. As the snapping electro rhythm and Laswellian bass lick take possession of our primary motor cortex, the Neapolitan producer explores hi-tech jazz tones and wild solos, translating Zawinul's "Dialects" into a fresh lingua franca for the future club kids. Body language predates speech and Manny’s keen to remind us that movement matters.
      Opening the other side with whooshing white noise, tender jazz tones and glistening glitches, 'Kurgan Cot' could easily be Capri by the Sea of Tranquilli, while the techno-tribalism of 'Kunda Nemunas' fuses shoulder rolling polyrhythms, thick slabs of square bass and exotic mallets into the greatest groove the Cosmic club never heard. From there we take a moment of reflection via the mystical bells and hazy interference of 'Blitzkreig Mith' before 'The Light Of TCP' lifts us into an extended out-of-body experience. With Whodamanny as our guide we spend ten blissful minutes gliding through crystalline melodies, intricate solos and entheogenic tonalities with only the subtle percussion and precise bass sequence keeping us tethered to our space-time continuum.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Mystic Jungle Tribesman Whodamanny joins those disco mystics at Origin Peoples for his first debut LP, the mighty T.C.P. Part library electronics, part cosmic groover, the set samples proto-techno, electro-funk, Afro-chug and entheogenic trance dance across 8 excellent tracks. Coastal, cosmic, funky and far out, this is the perfect distillation of the Neapolitan sound that’s been turning heads and moving bodies in recent years.


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