It’s only downside for me is that its perfection and cleverness hides a lot of potential.
Now this is a good, good record: Tom Hodge apparently does a lot of soundtrack work for TV and now he’s formed a band of sorts with electronic producer Franz Kirmann. The results, as found on this EP, are pretty brilliant in places. Opening track, Son Of Pi is by turns grandiose, restless and psychedelic; it could be classed as the soundtrack to some 60’s spy thriller, a mellifluous piece full of changing textures and rhythms. At times the changes in pace are so sharp you wonder whether something’s up with the recording. It’s fab.
There are three live tracks on this EP which reveal a much more scattered, stark approach, mostly piano-led but with plenty of sonic spanners thrown into the works. It can invigorate but it can at times annoy. I’d bet it would make much more sense live, seeing the pieces performed, though VI (Live) is a powerful recording: a great track in its own right.
Best are the moments when the electronic blurps and wibbles achieve a sort of parity with the piano part, and the result being a sort of restrained white noise. IV and V pleasant enough work outs with enough melodic intent to keep you hooked. This is by nature fractured, crystalline music, happy to exist in aspic, or in a bubble of its own making. There’s an element of chamber music about it: despite the intrusion of beats and samples. It’s only downside for me is that its perfection and cleverness hides a lot of potential. I’d be interested to see how the ideas on Son Of Pi work out, very much “Lost Chord” era Moody Blues hanging out with Nils Frahm.
Pic: courtesy of Laurie McShea