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Klimek - Movies is Magic


The clue is in the title. Sebastian Meissner’s Klimek project furthers upon his last LP Dedications in 2007 with another sensual journey through electronically generated soundscapes. This is cinematically tinged though, and all 10 tracks on the album draw upon the heritage of some of the screen’s finest composers. There is much to be said for the power of visual and audial stimulation mixed together, and it would be hard to disagree with the notion that Ennio Morricone is the finest composer since the War.

Album opener “Abyss of Anxiety” starts with what I feel is a homage to Popol Vuh and Werner Herzog’s majestic opener to “Der Zorn des Gottes”. It’s a mixture of suspensful strings and crystalline rushes of sound that swirl around an axis of foreboding momentum, letting out snatches of melody before retreating into silence. For an opener, it’s a statement of intent. The langourous “Exposed to Life in its Brutal Meaninglessness”  doesn’t quite carry the same sort of morbid decay that one might expect of the song title, but keeps the notion of ambiguity going, splashes of rhythms and strings offset by plucked double bass that brings to mind traces of Bernard Hermann. There’s the harmonica of Morricone in “Exploding Unbearable Desires”, which has wonderful jarring washes of melody moving in and out of the composition, and in “Pathetic and Dangerous”, the Taxi Driver motif that Hermann wrote is recreated, with subtle reverb and echo.

Meissner’s imagination begins to run riot by the time we get to “Greed, Mutation and Betrayal”, with squalling sax soaring over slow whip-crack rhythms, but in “A Lament” I fee that he begins to run perilously close to that other practitioner of laptop suspense, Murcof, and the samples of thunder and rain begin to wear thin ever so slightly. Thankfully matters are restored by the strongest track on the album, “True Enemies and False Friends”, in which military drum rolls (ever so slightly reminsicent of WWII action epic Where Eagles Dare) beat in the distance alongside a melodic motif that moves across the musical horizon with grace. It’s a shame then that the last 3 tracks lapse into the sort of melancholic ambient territory that one hears with a crushing regularity nowadays. The sense of ambiguity, suspense and narrative drops away like someone with attention deficit order, and I felt that the cinematic edge that had been created with some real care was washed away like a director who had suddenly found that his script had finished. This was a shame, because “Movies is Magic” opens with splendour and daring, yet finishes with its tail between its feet.

Toby Frith

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