Pharoah Sanders, Floating Points & The London Symphony Orchestra – Promises (2021, Luaka Bop)
Since I mentioned this on Day 5, it seems only natural and right that Day 6 should be this wonderful record from Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and The LSO. I’m not going to say much of anything about it; I know there were many reviews of this album and I am sure many of them are also wonderful. The album was conceived and recorded during the pandemic and somehow felt like the album we needed, even if we may not have deserved it. A proprietor of a local record shop where I live didn’t like it, he complained that it sounded “new age” — a characterization that I think is neither accurate nor fair – and that Pharoah barely plays on it, and is too subdued. But (as I mentioned yesterday) the mood here is very introspective, and feels like a musical meditation on the passing of time, on the luxury and strangeness of having lived to an old age. Any new worlds that Pharoah may seek to discover at this point are more subtle than the soaring heights of his youthful work, somewhere in between the planes, teetering suspended between the flesh and the disincarnate. I have this one on vinyl, but I’m still digesting it, so it’s not the version I’m sharing here.
Gil Mellé – The Andromeda Strain (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Original release 1971 KAPP Records
2017 Jackpot Records – Limited Edition RSD
Vinyl rip in 24-bit/192kHz | Web art + scans
Genre: electronic / experimental | 1971
Jackpot Records ~ JPR-044
Dr. Vibes’ 12 Days of Christmas – Day 3 – Probably the eeriest soundtrack for any film that was not technically in the horror genre, Gil Mellé really broke ground in electronic music on this soundtrack for this classic science-fiction thriller adapted from the Michael Crichton novel. Apparently he “created his own instruments” to make some of these compositions. I’m not sure what that really means but the results are definitely otherworldly. I have a habit of being fans of soundtrack albums without ever getting around to seeing the associated film, and that was the case with this title until just a few years ago. Although reissued in Japan several times on vinyl, for the longest time this was only available digitally as a CD-R on the grey-market / bootleg label Creel Pone. It finally got a limited official release about 8 years ago that is now also pretty rare. So I was pretty happy to see it on a list o special releases for Record Store Day in 2017. Jackpot Records deserves some credit for staying faithful to the original deluxe packaging (which I did not place on my scanner, sorry). But I sort of wish they just made a normal round EP, because I suspect getting these hexagonal things off the presses isn’t easy — my brand-new copy had a big-ole scratch on it as soon as I opened it. But I think I got a pretty good transfer.