With Samsara hitting the UK on 30/08/12, I am in fever pitch about it. Now armed with my tickets and a Q&A session after the film, here’s a lovely piece about the musical side of the film with Michael Sterns, Lisa Gerrard and Marcello Di Francisci
The first is Insight (with a great cover art) which judging from the samples is very much about slightly awkard ambience and haunting string rumbles creating a thick atmosphere. The occasional piano and brass moment breeze in but one of the main effects used is the one of reversed broken glass. Lisa’s vocals do make occasional appearances but not often.
The second is Oranges and Sunshine which feels more melodic and centers around piano and string interaction with other tuned percussive instruments dropping in and out. This feels like the most straightforward soundtrack Lisa has done to date by the way how you actually hear a tune throughout and recurring motifs.
Both scores are available on Lisa Gerrard’s website.
This is taken from the Live DVD I believe, completely freeform – Godspeed I
One of the few Lisa Gerrard songs I’d yet to come across, this heartwrenching duet with Denez Prigent is taken from the film Black Hawk Down and the music video for it is beautiful. The song is called Gortoz A Ran.
Ever since going completely independant, Lisa’s been extra busy releasing new material. Two new singles entitled “Entry” and “Come This Way” came out today and both were new songs added to the rerelease of The Silver Tree. They join “Coming Home” which is taken from the upcoming film “Legend of the Guardians” and all songs are priced $2 AUD. Coming Home is possibly my favourite of the three as its quintessential cinematic Gerrard but all three are great.
Two Lisa Gerrard albums in one year? They can’t both be fantastic surely? Well as a matter of fact, they’re both darn fantastic. “Departum” see’s Lisa collaborate with MArcello De Francisci after working together of a film (Tears of Gaza) and deciding they felt so at home together they wanted to have a seperate project to let themselves go on. This has resulted in a wonderful selection of some of the best music in Gerrard’s catalogue and the most instantly enjoyable album since “Duality”.
Opening with “Ex Nihilo Out of Nothingness” a soundscape is painted into the speakers with ambient swirls and distant echoing aural screams and chasms. There’s a lot of spoken dialogue overlapping eachother that creates a paniced confusion and the ambience swells and then fades away as we decend (or ascend) into our Departum. This is followed by the absolutely magical “In the Beginning Was The Word” which signals the return of the more tribal, eastern world of Lisa’s music that’s been absent for far too long. Sitar like changs, Eastern string bows and tribal percussion signal a march forward which then pulls away to a beautiful almost coming of age where the song rises into a momentous stride with Lisa’s voice and some lush tuned bell percussion pushed to the far. The drums continue to rise and rise, it’s such a burst of life, I actually found myself nodding and bowing my head on the first listen in general awe and approval!
“Hymns of a Promised Land” has a male (Marcello I presume) talking in the opening segment in distorted voices. Once his monologue finishes a sumptuous Lisa takes over with a very pure vocal / guitar track that is over far too quickly, almost like a healing chant. Simplistic but lovely. “Hidden Garden” see’s the return of the Yang Quin too, leading an instrumental as its echoes pulsate a lifeline through an Eden like ambience of animals and running water. Perfect for relaxation with an underlying murmer of pray it seems underneath. It’s quitely spiritual without pointing to a specific religion.
“Diary For the Fallen” reminds me slightly of Serpent and the Dove from The Black Opal with its gentle acoustic guitar initially leading the way over Lisa’s calming voice. Instead this track decides to build itself into an uplifting rousing tunnel of light for me in the choruses with its hugely panning tom drums and its warm keyboard work backing up Lisa as she soars and bellows for every piece of emotion. Think a slower Now We Are Free but with electric guitar at the end!
“Renunciation” is a short one minute track which carefully replays a string bending signiture that you’ll hear a few times in the album over sawing keyboard melodies while “Himalaya” is possibly the best 36 second track ever committed to CD! Why it wasn’t then extended into a full piece I’ve no idea, but we’ll have to live with what we have!
Title track “Departum” follows as the first solace moment really in its opening section, which mixes vocal traits from previous tracks with a new chord structure. Soon the keyboards and drums are bashing away with echoing Yang Quin and the whole thing sounds magical. It’s one of the most directly foot stomping, upbeat songs Lisa’s produced to date. As with a lot of “Departum”, it would work fantastically in any film montage or end credit sequence. “Maya’s Dream” is a short keyboard/distant vocal number that with its ever decreasing chords sink down sounds more haunting on each repeat.
“To Those Who Seek Forgiveness” is an epic piece. Lisa Gerrard sounds like she is channeling pain like a Japanese war crier weeping in desperation. It never ceases to amaze me how many forms and layers Lisa’s voice can take on. The woodwind and string samples in this track are particularly subdued to let the voice take absolute centre stage. “All Things Impermanent” is a short bowed string and mechanical noise piece that continues the same musical thread inbetween the full songs before the fantastic “River Dance” graces our ears. Nothing to do with Mr Flatley, this track sounds like an extra from Duality or the Baraka soundtrack. The drums, strings and tuned percussion make for a haunting and mysterious hypnotic dance. This is the track you hear in at the beginning of the albums trailer video. Lisa joins in at half way with lots of vocal ablibs as the song continues to build and build, a signiture of a lot of the songs on the album. Lisa here, and for a lot of the album sounds much more native and wild than she has done of late and it suits the music perfectly.
“Cor Nobilis The Gentle Ones” is more etheral with its guitars, higher and cleaner vocal delivery and dramatic strings. However it soon has the dramatic filmic drums added and develops into one of the best examples of why Lisa Gerrard is the pinnacle of what she does by being both everything and very fragile all at the same time. “Addagio for a Broken Promise” is the most sombre full length track on the album and it does sound like Lisa’s vocals have been given a bit of Cher’s Believe treatment! It’s very melodic and quite close in sound to Serpents Egg and sounds quite different to the rest of the album as a result. “Sacred Journey” takes the Yang Quin echoes from River Dance and overlays it onto a thunder storm and lots of paddling through water for an effective transitional track.
“The Secret Language of Angels” is the longest track on the album at over six minutes. Put simply the track encapsultes the whole albums essence in one track. From its hymn’s humming in the opening, slowly chant on chant, instrument on instrument build up layer on layer as you continue to rise to achieve a euphoric state of being. This song alone is worth the albums price and is along with a few other tracks on the album, competing for song of the year easily!
The CD album ends with “A Kingdom Now Forgotten” which is an aural treat almost like you’ve now reached your resting place and can now drift into the ether. It’s the most spiritual track with distant church bells and gentle sweeping choral melodies in the background.
If you have ordered the CD you’ll get two additional tracks in MP3 format however. “The Lost Star of Menelik” is a very Asian sounding track with a constant low sitaresque hum swirling around with Lisa freely singing over the top of it. It’s quite a spacious track that could pass as a morning raga perhaps and is very relaxing to listen to. The second track is “Let the Children Play” which sounds almost like its from a different album and session altogether with piano and samples guitar and sound loops of children as background noise. It’s a great little track and I wonder if maybe its actually from the Gaza project instead of Departum as there’s electronic synths running through the song too. However its melody is lushious and rewarding and the song structures great.
Quite frankly, when I heard The Black Opal, my review stated this was the album I’d been waiting from Lisa for years… I was wrong. “Departum” tops that album for me and is utterly mesmorising from start to finish. There is something about teamming up Lisa’s voice with world music that is built to explode for a finale and this album has worked that out a treat. Marcello has breathed new life into everything and now this is firm favourite to go head to head with Ark for my album of the year (and thus one of the best of the last 10!) Buy, buy, buy!
Lisa Gerrard looks like having a very busy 2010. Not only will the soundtrack to Playing for Charlie be released in MP3 format in the near future, Lisa will be releasing a full 17 track album “Departum” – a collaboration with long time friend Marcello de Fransici. There is a trailer for the album here. It sounds like a hark back to some more tribal-esque rousing music, which every regular reader of HPM will know I love. Release is scheduled for mid June
One of the possibly the only annoying thing with the changes to stats via WordPress is that I now have almost 600 visitors who visited “Home Page” and that means that these most viewed charts at the start of each month are missing 20% of the page views considering HPM get about 3000 a month. However Bredan Perry stays on top again, although only just this month as his tour got underway and we posted live clips of all the new songs on his tour. I’m so excited for the new album! Most viewed post though was strangely a review from last year, Echochrome’s OST! Is it because Echoshift’s making waves I wonder? Here’s the top 10 viewed artists…
01) Brendan Perry (3 months!)
02) Keith Burgan & Blake Reynolds (NE)
03) Tom Salta (NE)
04) Hideki Sakamoto (-)
05) Lisa Gerrard (v)
06) Jesper Kyd (-)
07) Garry Schyman (v)
08) Ayumi Hamasaki (v)
09) Normand Corbiel (^)
10) Yoko Shimomura (RE)
Top 5 Games
01) RTL Winter Sports (2 Months)
02) Vancouver 2010 (NE)
03) Battle Tanks (-)
04) Musaic Box (-)
05) Numblast (RE)
It’s been a while since we’ve had such a huge runaway winner on our most viewed list, but March 2010 saw Brendan Perry overdrive as his tour kicked off and his new songs were revealed! Not only that, but March saw Higher Plain Music far surpass its previous most busy month ever (last month actually) by a whopping 600 views! I’d like to send a massive thanks to every reader and I hope you continue to stay with me. So without further ado, the top 10 artists and top 5 games of March…
01) Brendan Perry (2 months)
02) Lisa Gerrard (^)
03) Naoyuki Hiroko (Halo Legends Crew) (v)
04) Hideki Sakamoto (NE)
05) Garry Shyman (NE)
06) Jesper Kyd (-)
07) Ayumi Hamasaki (RE)
08) Hiroki Kikuta (RE)
09) Jeff Kinney (NE)
10) Normand Corbeil (NE)
01) RTL Winter Sports 2010 (ps3) (2 months)
02) Heavy Rain (PS3)
03) Battle Tanks (ps3)
04) Musaic Box (PC)
05) .detuned (PS3)
Since Lisa went completely onto her own distribution label, things appear to have changed. “The Black Opal” faced delays in distribution and other troubles too but none of that matters as the proof is now in the pudding – this album is a corker and finally shows Gerrard breaking into some new territories from what has been the safe sound she has crafted and stuck too.
“Red Horizon” is a very controlled, sweeping piece of music. Using organs and keyboards to gently roll you away, its like being lifted into a horizon of a sunset. It’s quite capitivating as Lisa’s vocals are just ambient moans and this is very much of what Lisa has been doing for a while, but just feeling a little more darker. “The Messenger” is particularly eerie. Using dischordant piano riffs and echoes against an electronic percussive harshes, Lisa mutters and stumbles over the haunting background and although it never breaks out into a frenzy (although the middle of the song does ramp up), it holds a certain shiver to it that keeps you completely held in its aura it gives off. Unsettling yet captivating.
“Tell it From The Mountain” continues the electronic element in an upbeat chant that is fantastic as its a real song again and has a start, middle and end to it. It’s like Lisa has reembraced song structure again and this really has enhanced the album no end! When it breaks out into its refrain, the strings, drums and Lisa’s ever staggering vocals really shine as a highlight and then to have it blur into guitar ambience for a coda is just thumbs up all round. It’s great to have Lisa trying new things. A real highlight.
“In Search of Lost Innocence” is very cinematic. Lisa’s low register here is like Earth’s belly rumbling from way deep down under the surface. The smashing timpani’s ontop of the brass really add to the atmosphere as the track subsides to more eerie higher pitched vocal empathies. “The Crossing” is very ambient and electronic indeed. It has a great percussive side to it and echoing Lisa’s vocals to the background while all kinds of industrial bangs and twangs take the forfront really takes this track on a different journey than most of the others – like taking a tribe into a factory. It’s also nice to hear the Yanquin again no matter how distorted and brief.
“Redemption” harks back to earlier times with a synth/vocal powerhouse track. It is slow, deliberate and utterly heartwrenching. The dualing ominous low key vocals are particularly haunting and just the little cymbal rolls in the background really round off this track as like it takes place in another world and time demension – something very few artists can do and Lisa does so effortlessly.
“The Serpent & The Dove” is very different track for Gerrard featuring real words and an acoustic guitar melody underpinning the track. It’s really quite interesting to note that Lisa can hold your attention in English just as much as in her own language. This track is quite solomn and rested, almost like someone is reading out a prologue to the last millenium. Everything despite being quite soft carries a certain weight to it that makes it feel like you’re being privvy to secrets yet to be told. “Black Forest” continues the English word with a beautifully apocalyptic waltz of love. For the first time really using almost a band or regular instruments, the piano, bass and drums sound normal and then Lisa’s voice comes in and it all sounds bizarrely alien. That sounds like a bad thing, but I assure you its not. It’s like the previous track, feeling like a higher state of being has graced us to tell us something of importance. The melody here stands out as being sleepy-dead, like Lisa’s on her last legs. The ending is more spirited but its the music doing all the work as Lisa laments “You don’t love me”
“All Along The Watertower” is a first for Lisa ever – a cover! Originally by Bob Dylan. Here is where Lisa is singing and musically pounding her way. The song sounds like something Lamb would have done in their “What Sound” era. Funky guitars, smashing drums and Lisa’s vocals as crystal clear and forceful as they’ve been all album, this is really something I’d love to hear her do more often as her voice suits it. It’s a new style for her to get her teeth into an bring to her albums hopefully.
“Solace” is very biblical sounding. Just lamenting vocals and organs. It’s an understated beauty in an album full of big pieces and that makes it’s presence felt all the more. “The Maharaja” is another track that is deliberate in its manner and the background ambience of birds and various other animals that floats in and out gives it a broken paradise feeling because the songs chords are very subdued but then you can hear chirping birds. It’s a unique paradox.
The album closes with “Sleep” which if you bought the Dead Can Dance live tour CD’s, will be known to you before as “Hymn of The Fallen”. It’s great to have a studio recording of this track. It’s an utterly beautiful track. Just piano and vocal – it’s flawless in its delivery and its an apt end to what has been a real powerhouse return to form for Lisa Gerrard.
However, if you have the Limited Edition it doesn’t stop there. There are seven more tracks to get to grips with, however the most annoying thing is that they are on a DVD so how I’ll ever get them onto my mp3 player and my music hard drive is currently beyond me! I have Bjork DVD singles with the b-sides on and I can never listen to them! Any help would be well recieved!
“The Aftermath” is an ambient piece that swirls and numbs before fading away. “The Black Opal” see’s Gerrard read a poem over gentle twinking music but the subject matter is so far removed from the background, and Lisa’s spoken word so monotone and whispery, its like listening to the opening of Lord of the Rings! A great extra.
“Desert Song” is not the Dead Can Dance song, its another etheral piece of music with added electrical pulses and beats. It does sound like a lost extra from a movie but as a bonus track everything is always welcome and it does build into a nice new age track with a good beat and Lisa’s elongated moans rippling throughout – very Silver Tree.
“The Gardener” is another spoken word track with syntherised background music that adds to the atmosphere. These spoken word tracks are a surprise as I usually don’t like them as they come off too pretentious, yet because the music, here especially, really fits perfectly, it doesn’t sound overdone at all – its like an audiobook. “Ocean Lament” reminds me of Whale Rider with its production as Lisa’s voice becomes both fore and background notes. “Solemn March” is a synth orchestra piece that leads into a traditional Gerrard song of the last 10 years and then “Impermanence” ends the bonus track selection with a very short vocal only collage. There is a beautiful and quite effecting music video for “The Serpent and the Dove” as well which initially is quite slow and beautiful but it lures you in for the final section.
Overall, the bonus tracks are nice but the right tracks are on the album. “The Black Opal” is by far Lisa’s best solo album of the last 10 years, definately on par with Duality and some tracks easily rival the best she’s created. This is a powerhouse welcome return to form. Welcome back Lisa.
Well February 2010 saw our busiest month ever at Higher Plain Music as we hit a record number of views on the website. Thank you so much to everyone that comes to visit. One man completely dominiated though with 3 threads in the top 10 viewed and that’s Brendan Perry as the anticipation of Ark reaches feverpitch. It was also the first month when game reviews really notched up the hits with both winter games reviews grabbing 4th and 5th on the most viewed chart. Also with the new way the stats are made, I have over 700 unaccounted views, so please remember to click the actual posts for views to count! Here’s the top 10 artists and top 5 games of February.
Top 10 Artists
01. Brendan Perry (^)
02. Naoyuki Hiroko (Halo Legends crew) (NE)
03. Cris Velasco (NE)
04. Lisa Gerrard (^)
05. Garry Schyman (NE)
06. Jesper Kyd (RE)
07. Yoko Shimomura (NE)
08. Imogen Heap (v)
09. Panda Transport (NE)
10. Akira Yamaoka (v)
Top 5 Games
01. RTL Winter Sports 2010 (PS3)
02. Vancouver 2010 (PS3)
03. Musaic Box (PC)
04. Numblast (PS3)
05. Zoocube (PS2)
The next week may be a bit sporadic due to my own album being released this week but after that its back to usual!
Well first month of the new decade is behind us and it certainly was a busy one! Just about averaged a post a day (phew – new years resolution not broken immediately!) and site traffic rose after a quiet December back to normal figures again. However, top of the bill was a certain Lisa Gerrard with the news of The Black Opal’s release and the review of “Balibo” really setting the readers alight. Here’s the top 10 artist’s and top 5 games of the month.
01) Lisa Gerrard
02) Brendan Perry
03) Jesper Kyd
04) Musashi Hamauzu
05) Imogen Heap
07) Mike Reagan / Cris Velasco
08) Akira Yamaoka
09) Yasunori Mitsuda
10) Sarah Slean
01) Battle Tanks (PS3)
02) Winter Sports 2010 (PS3)
03) Vancouver 2010 (PS3)
04) Hyperballoid (Ps3)
05) .detuned (PS3)
Well the year is out and so we leave 2009 with our top 10 most viewed artists and here they are:
01) Lisa Gerrard: With more posts getting more than 150+ views than any other artist, Lisa Gerrard topped our most viewed list and she looks to stay high in 2010. Her Balibo soundtrack was amazing, and we’re still waiting for her 2009 album “The Black Opal” to arrive to review. Well done Lisa
02) Vienna Teng: Vienna went under the radar for me and is a surprise second. Her fourth album Inland Territory is absolutely stunning and we got our hands on her live DVD from a while back and loved that too. Hears hoping to more in 2010!
03) Brendan Perry: The anticipation for Ark continues and Brendan continues to clock up hits while we wait. Ark looks like hitting early 2010 and rest assured, HPM will be buying it on release day!
04) OverClocked ReMix: Well the biggest game music remixing project chalked up several releases but it was the FF4 project that really exploded over here grabbing the most viewed interview in 2009 with the project managers. 2010 will no doubt see tons of remixes for all and I’ll drink to that *glug*.
05) Akira Yamaoka: Well HPM did a lot of reviewing of Silent Hill soundtracks in 09 and that’s because the reviews always seem popular. Now Akira has left Konami (although Shattered Memories is still composed by him) it remains to be seen when we’ll hear of him next. Not too soon we hope!
06) Imogen Heap: Imogen actually had the most viewed post of 2009 with over 700 views of bizarrely the tracklisting for Ellipse. Sadly not as many read the review so that’s why Immi is down in 7th. 2010 looks like a year of touring so expect Heap to appear in the live vault!
07) Utada: This Is the One was one of pop’s best albums and was the third most read music review of 2009 and top of the non-game music reviews. Utada’s groove is definately on and maybe we’ll hear some more Japanese work in 2010.
08) Tori Amos: Tori strangely didn’t feature highly on the most viewed threads lists but constantly propped up just outside the top 10 and so ended up 8th overall. Abnormally Attracted to Sin and Midwinter Graces were fantastic albums that deserve much love and so 2010 should see Tori enjoy a break for a few months!
09) Hiroki Kikuta: The most read review of 2009 belongs to Hiroki and the Secret of Mana + Review that clocked over 500 hits. Hiroki was kind enough to send over one of his more obscure soundtracks which will be reviewed in 2010. Thank you Kikuta-san!
10) Christopher Tin: Sneaking in by just 2 views over Sarah Slean, Christopher Tin’s Calling All Dawns is simply devine and snatched the final spot on our top 10. Chris is a genuinely nice guy and deserves all the credit the albums recieved.
Top 5 Game Reviews
01) Battle Tanks (PS3)
02) Trash Panic (PS3)
03) Numblast (PS3)
04) Shatter (PS3)
05) Magic Ball (PS3)
Lisa Gerrard’s recent soundtracks have seen a real return back to her roots and that starts with the astounding “Balibo Soundtrack”. There is a CD version, but the one available for download from Lisa’s own site is the one I purchased as it appears to contain extended versions and bonus tracks.
Opening with “Childhood Reflections”, what I like about this piece is that it creates a certain space in time. Everything from the echoed vocals, the mummering dulcimer and soft strings feel slowed down to a crawl. It really envelopes you in before “A Heart That Never Rests” takes over with its more melodic approach. Pianos, acoustic guitars and string arrangements lead the way in a swirling ambience that gives you an overarching sense of achievement and journeyship. By the time the percussion joins in and the guitar lead takes over the piece takes an epic scale feel and really stands out for it.
“The Hidden Country” is a dark brooding track with a great use of finger flicking on guitar strings and some fantastic percussive work before at half way it switches mood completely, like its been revealed in all its beauty, into an ever decreasing circle of instrumentation. A quite abstract piece but one that’s very interesting to listen to and gain something from each listen. “The Interrogation” is an echoed ambient piece that showcases Lisa’s vocal ability to make so much from so little.
“The Invasion” is a very dramatic and emotional song. Lisa’s vocals swell and build and then float like the wind against a string backdrop. There’s a real distance to her voice in this soundtrack that gives her extra depth and substance, as if she’s really watching from above. It’s quite incredible the emotion that can be evoked from this track as it meanders its way through all kinds of chords, notes ans scales without sitting still.
“Leaving for East Timor” is a fantastic track full of percussive embellishments and relaxed electric and acoustic guitars. The result is a bittersweet journey track. Not quite easy listening as it has an unsettling shadow cast over it, it straddles relaxed mood music and epic drama in an ususal manner and it makes this song really interesting to listen to and you get different things out of it depending on your mood. “Mission School” is a short glass interlude that is designed to throw you off kilter and does so successfully.
“A Passage For Truth” is a slowly revolving piece that slowly unsettles and creeps around the back of your ears. The intial guitars are quite sweet but the more instruments that sweep in, the more discordant it becomes. The key to the greatness of this track is its complex intricate layering that makes the overall flow sound simple but theres so much going on underneath. Great track.
“Restless Intuition” is a short almost cowboy-western track which is strangely not as out of place as it sounds and reminds me of the “A Thousand Roads” soundtrack while “Solitude” is a vocal led ambient piece to lead you into the 9 minute epic “A Time Unveiled”. This track begins with beautifully tuned percussion and heatfelt string solos before the big drums come in and lead a mass march of percussion and swirling vocals that come to the big climactic finale of strings. It’s done in such a way the track is always moving and even though the end result doesn’t stay for too long, its rewarding and you feel like you’ve gone places without leaving your seat.
“Waters Run Deep” is the closing bonus track which is a dramatic track that encircles the whole album in three and half a minutes and is a fine closer.
“Balibo” is a beast of a soundtrack. There’s no immediate hook melody here but Lisa Gerrard knows exactly how to create a feeling in the space of music and let you live it. Each song is really heavily crafted and while some seem minimal at first, there’s actually lots of sounds making a bigger single sound and so there is a lot of hidden depth. More instrumental than vocal, it’s closer to A Thousand Roads than anything else she’s done but this soundtrack has drenched in emotion and that’s just how we like them! Great stuff.
Well November was a bit of a wash out for new posts due to my house move, but that didn’t stop November being the fifth busiest month of all time for hits! It was primarily down to one lady, Lisa Gerrard, who’s new album more than tripled the hits of the second placed artist. We’ll be reviewing all three new releases of Lisa’s this month.
01) Lisa Gerrard (2 months)
02) Tori Amos (^)
03) Brendan Perry (^)
04) Christopher Tin (v)
05) Hiroki Kikuta (^)
06) Imogen Heap (v)
07) Akira Yamaoka (RE)
08) Sarah Slean (RE)
09) Anonymous 4 (v)
10) Utada (RE)
01) .detuned (PS3)
02) Battle Tanks (PS3)
03) Numblast (PS3)
04) Shatter (PS3)
05) GripShaft (PS3)
Lisa Gerrard has a triple bill release! Firstly, her latest album “The Black Opal” is released digitally on Lisa’s website. Also available on the website now is the soundtrack to “Balibo” and her tour CD with Klaus Schulze “Come Quietly”. The samples for all three sound fantastic and we’ll be picking them up shortly for reviewing and general enjoyment. What a month for music!
October saw HPM have three distinct leaders in the race for top spot and despite only being a listen-to-the-samples post, Lisa Gerrard topped the bill for October while we all wait in anticipation for “The Black Opal”. Christoper Tin and Winifred Phillips followed closely behind with their interviews and reviews while Anonymous 4 was quickly catching all three at the end of the month. The top 10 are listed below:
01) Lisa Gerrard (^)
02) Christopher Tin (v)
03) Winifred Phillips (RE)
04) Anonymous 4 (NE)
05) Brendan Perry (-)
06) Imogen Heap (v)
07) Tori Amos (RE)
08) Hiroki Kikuta (v)
09) OverClocked Remix (v)
10) Yasunori Mitsuda (RE)
01) Battle Tanks (PS3)
02) Shatter (PS3)
03) .detuned (PS3)
04) Trash Panic (PS3)
05) Numblast (PS3)
Well due to my holiday and getting back into the routine, September was a very quiet month for HPM in general but towards the end we had a massive influx of visitors for one man – Christopher Tin! He grabs this months most viewed award with the review of his debut album and his interview afterwards. Lisa Gerrard also popped up the order with audio samples from forthcoming album Black Opal. Here’s the top 10 artists:
01) Christopher Tin (NE)
02) Lisa Gerrard (^)
03) Imogen Heap (v)
04) Lisa Germano (^)
05) Brendan Perry (v)
06) Hikoki Kikuta (^)
07) Module (v)
08) OverClocked ReMix (v)
09) Utada (v)
10) Vienna Teng (RE)
In the gaming front, Battl Tanks was the top read review this month and actually the second highest hit post this month too! We will be going really into game reviews from all old consoles from October and they will feature more prominantly, as the site will now be taking a much more active approach due to a change in circumstances of myself!
01) Battle Tanks (NE)
02) Shatter (v)
03) Numblast (v)
Lisa Gerrard has updated her website with track-by-track samples of her new album “The Black Opal”. The track samples can be found here. The album appears to be based around the plight of dolphins and the albums cover art is as spooky as it is sad.
For the samples themselves, this is looking like a fantastic album! Each track appears to have a tune again and it seems much less ambience and much more heart and soul. The final track appears to be Hymn of the Fallen from the live cd’s too. Currently the album is on track for late September or early October but listen, enjoy and it looks like Lisa is very much back at the top of her (human) game again!
For once I’m at a loss for words and am completely torn. Lisa Gerrard’s latest collaboration partner is Klaus Schulze of Tangerine Dream fame and an electronic maestro with a career spanning over 40 (!) albums. “Farscape” is a two disc journey. Over the two discs seven songs, although they are more like symphonic movements, glide over you in a spacious ambience. Lisa’s vocals float and twist throughout the pieces and what you are given is something that on the surface is lightweight ambience but for those looking for more, can enjoy the lengthy process of ambience song structure.
Each song is entitled “Liquid Coincidence” and then is given a number 1 through 7. “1″ is 22 minutes long. Its swirling synths and arpeggio’s dust against Lisa’s ever evocative voice. It’s one of those tracks that once it starts, you forget its there almost and then quarter of an hour later, its still going but nothing much has changed except at half way through chill out beats join in. “2″ is 31 minutes long and is a bit more easy listening chill out world music. There’s some excellent use of echo on Gerrard’s vocals here but once again, nothing will be rushed and half an hour later, you feel as if you’ve been somewhere but your not quiet sure where. “3″ is 26 minutes long and concludes disc 1 as being somewhere in-between the previous two songs but sounds almost identical.
Disc 2 starts with “4″ at a much shorter 18 minutes! There is a noticeable shift in tone and that’s because disc 1 centres around Lisa improvising over Klaus’ music. Disc 2 is the other way around. “4″ is darker and less fluffy out-of-body-experienced with discordant stabbing brass samples however by the mid point its turned into a slightly more dramatic version of 1,2 and 3. “5″ for some reason works better for me as its a perfect blend of each other’s strengths although again its an 18 minute movement. “6″ is 24 minutes long and does little to change what’s already been heard although there is no percussion in this track at all and sounds better for it. “7″ is the shortest track at 13 and a half minutes. Who’d have thought that on an album? It basically wraps all the other tracks into one coherent piece which is a lovely feeling track and reminds of swimming with dolphins.
I’m so torn as its brave and at times genius. However quite why every song has to be half an album long is beyond me. It completely depends on your mood. Yes, you can close your eyes and drift off to it if you have time but its all so hypnotically similar so then one track blends into the next and then none of the differences actually stand out. The best track is the shortest one as it packs all the album into one track, which they could have easily done and then changed the electronics about and made some different sounding tracks. The whole overall sound sounds like a cheap relaxation CD you find from something like Time Life.
I will probably never listen to the album as a whole ever again. It completely devalued itself for me as a single piece. I will only tackle this CD one track at a time and even then only as background music when I’m busy. To have Lisa Gerrard’s voice as background music is something I’d never thought I’d say but alas, that’s all I can see this CD being used for. Sorry!