There are a handful of recent and upcoming releases that require your attention. You can’t miss these.
Chromatics – ‘Black Walls’
Music fans are always thirsty for some new Chromatics songs; longing to get a taste of Dear Tommy, the long-awaited followup to Chromatics’ classic 2012 album Kill For Love. Those folks were in for a treat recently in the form of a gem called “Black Walls” that absolutely kills and which is slated for inclusion on Tommy, according to reports.
Are you ready for an entire narrative-of-an-experience — one that embodies everything from ambient textures to the sacred genuflections of tight, rhythmic dark disco over which Ruth Radelet’s enchanting vocals hypnotize?
Makeup and Vanity Set – Pris
This is the kind of Vehlinggo-bait that makes me happy. The eminently talented MAVS has created an EP devoted to Pris, the Replicant that Daryl Hannah played in 1982’s Blade Runner. It is every bit as fascinating as you’d imagine. Vangelis would be proud. I look forward to seeing MAVS at Human Music this weekend. I hope to share a cup of coffee with him.
Johnny Jewel – Themes For Television
Now this one is a fascinating release. In addition to three appearances with Chromatics at the Roadhouse (AKA The Bang Bang Bar), Johnny Jewel also contributed instrumental work to last year’s Twin Peaks: The Return. You can hear some of these on Windswept and Twin Peaks: Limited Event Series Original Soundtrack. But you’d have been foolish to think that was all he recorded around that project. On Monday, the anniversary of the premiere of Twin Peaks: The Return, Italians Do It Better released Themes For Television, which incorporates sounds from recording sessions for the show, along with some musical passages that were already underway when David Lynch and Mark Frost came into Jewel’s life.
The 21-track Themes For Television — sequenced when he and his family were in Tokyo last year — takes elements of unreleased material and presents a new story, replete with the kind of evocative synthscapes, dark narratives, ethereal performances, and unabashed dreaminess you’d expect from the beneficent and prolific LA resident.
“Because it’s such an abstract record, the people that are going to be into it are going to be already thinking outside the box, and they’re going to be excited that there’s more wallpaper for their dreams,” Jewel said in a recent Billboard interview.
Turquoise Moon – Midnight Demon Soundtrack
British tape label Spun Out of Control is reissuing an exquisite synth score from obscure early 1980s film Midnight Demon, composed by short-lived, LA-based synth duo Turquoise Moon. This excellent score recalls the work of Tangerine Dream (especially Thief) and Brad Fiedel (especially The Terminator and Fright Night) and serves as a window into what-could-have-been for the composing duo.
Midnight Demon will be available June 1 worldwide via Spun Out of Control, and also at stores: Two Headed Dog (for the USA) and Transmission and Norman Records for the UK/Europe.
Rob – Revenge Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
The French rape and revenge action film Revenge, out now in some theatres and VOD, directed by Coralie Fargeat, has garnered praise for its ability to take the tropes of the exploitation genre and create something new and relevant.
A key component in that is French composer Rob’s harrowing synth score — an onslaught of edgy synths, percolating drum machines, and sinewy themes that variously burst with immediacy and withdraw into nuanced and haunting ambient soundscapes. The score is available now digitally and on vinyl via Mondo/Death Waltz.
Rob (AKA Robin Coudert) has released a host of albums and EPs and scored several films, including Maniac. He’s worked with other talented musicians in his homeland, such as Sébastien Tellier and Phoenix.
This list isn’t exhaustive by any means, but it should guide you to some form of bliss.
(Feature Photo: Artwork By Johnny Jewel and photographs by Rene & Radka.)