This collection of music for guitar, brought together by Jose Luis Bieito as the musical element of his music+image binomis, Reflections, possesses a delightful balance of sounds. These are flowing, pulsing, mostly gentle sounds that tend to soothe and calm the listener's mind. Sounds that - through a variety of compositional techniques - tend to be sustained in time; the effects of which can sometimes capture a listener’s attention, holding it inside an extended musical moment, like a spell. When heard while viewing the accompanying (provocative, sometimes disturbing) images, the sounds can serve an additional function: grounding the listener's reaction, enabling the passage of emotion; like electricity discharging through a lightening rod.
The original soundtrack to Steven Soderbergh's striking drug war drama Traffic features Cliff Martinez's sparse, evocative score, classical pieces, and electronica, resulting in a collection of music that's nearly as complex and diverse as the film it accompanies. Martinez, who has scored virtually all of Soderbergh's films (except Erin Brockovich), proves once again why they work together so often: the score's atmospheric drones and understated rhythms build a restrained, implosive tension far better than blaring orchestral pieces. Like the film itself, Martinez' pieces aren't obvious. They don't tell the listener what to feel; they just set the scene and let the audience fill in the blanks. And though big beat songs like Fatboy Slim's "Give the Po' Man a Break" and Kruder & Dorfmeister's remix of Rockers Hi-Fi's "Going Under" could be too much of a contrast with Martinez' airy compositions, the album is deftly sequenced, allowing for the highs and lows of the score and songs like Morcheeba's "On the Road Again," Wilhelm Kempff's "Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor," and Brian Eno's "An Ending (Ascent)." Though it sounds even better in conjunction with the film, Traffic is still one of 2000's best soundtracks.
Steve Roach’s unique soundquests continue to take him and his listeners on powerful journeys to worlds at once alien and familiar. On The Desert Inbetween, Roach teams up with fellow synthesist/percussionist/didgeridoo player Brian Parnham to explore a hybrid electronic acoustic soundworld sure to please listeners of Suspended Memories and Origins-era tribalism as well as The Serpent’s Lair-styled electronics. The blending of highly-altered organic sounds and instruments (voices, bells, didgeridoo & percussion, Waterphone), electric guitar and a vast array of analog and digital instruments connects deep into the primal mind…
Dead Oceans is happy to welcome the pianist Tom Rogerson to the roster. His elegant and evocative debut, Finding Shore, a 13-track collaboration that began after Rogerson met Brian Eno outside the toilets after a gig, arrives December 8th.