Twenty years on from its original release, Craig Armstrong’s ‘As If To Nothing’ - his electronic/orchestral masterpiece featuring musical heavyweights Bono, Mogwai, Evan Dando, King Crimson and others - is being reissued for the first time on vinyl in a super-deluxe, super-limited edition run via Hydrogen Dukebox.
Remastered at Abbey Road Studios and cut at half-speed to produce a superior sound quality, the release comes completely repackaged with reimagined artwork by award-winning designer Christopher Thomson and there's also a special 'Dinked Archive Edition' version limited to just 500 copies worldwide including a bonus 10" of a newly unearthed track from the original recording sessions.
‘As If To Nothing’, Armstrong’s second solo album following 1998’s ‘The Space Between Us’, is a timeless, groundbreaking record that marries stunning string arrangements, atmospheric electronics and contemporary popular music.
Originally released on renowned UK electronic outfit Massive Attack's label Melankolic, the record captures an enduring mood and sentiment that continues to enchant listeners today, from the stirring opener ‘Ruthless Gravity’ to the euphoric closing of ‘Choral Ending’. Armstrong’s collaborative work with Massive Attack on the 1994 album ‘Protection’ is an influence that can be heard throughout ‘As If To Nothing’:
“It was a very particular time musically within Britain, and the world”, he says. “To be part of the label, Melankolic, and working with Massive Attack, was a unique moment in time. They gave me real freedom to do what I wanted. The album was ahead of its time, I think - it still sounds pure and contemporary.”
“A lot of younger acts have contacted me over the years to say how seminal the album has been to them. One of the great things is that people have never stopped listening to the album. To have it reissued and released on this first-ever vinyl package is a very special thing to me.”
The album features a cast of luminaries including Bono on ‘Stay (Farway, So Close!’), Mogwai on ‘Miracle’ and Lemonheads’ Evan Dando ‘Wake Up In New York’, as well as producer Photek, soul singer David McAlmont, Alpha vocalist Wendy Stubbs, and Antye Greie-Fuchs, and a sample of King Crimson’s ‘Starless’ on ‘Starless II’. Praise for the album at the time of its release included Pitchfork ("Powerfully evocative and serene") and Rolling Stone ("[Armstrong] makes Bono sound like a fallen angel on a majestic remake of "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)".
Through his orchestral writing, electronic compositions and wide-ranging artistic collaborations in classical and film music, Craig Armstrong’s work has received worldwide acclaim. Armstrong is widely known for composing award winning film music, having scored both Hollywood and independent films, from Peter Mullan’s directorial debut 'The Close Trilogy' to the BAFTA, Ivor Novello and Golden Globe-winning award scores for Baz Luhrmann’s 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Moulin Rouge!' and 'The Great Gatsby'.
His film scoring has also featured in many other popular films including 'The Quiet American', 'Orphans', 'Love Actually', 'World Trade Centre', 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age', 'Far From The Madding Crowd', and 'Ray!', with the latter awarded a Grammy for Best Original Score. And several collaborations with Oliver Stone, ‘World Trade Center’ and ‘Snowden’.
The reissue of ‘As If To Nothing’ is a fitting celebration of this exemplary album’s 20th anniversary, and an opportunity to own this key record from Armstrong’s celebrated body of work on vinyl for the first time.
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