* * * * * Movietone – Day & Night * * * * *
Bristol, England ( 1994 – present ). Movietone is an English post-rock band. They formed in Bristol, England in 1994. Core members are Kate Wright and Rachel Brook (now Rachel Coe). Brook was also a member of Flying Saucer Attack during the first few years of the band’s existence, and Wright is also currently the bass player for Crescent. Other musicians have included Matt Jones & Sam Jones (both of Crescent), Matt Elliott (The Third Eye Foundation), Chris Cole, Ros Walford, Clare Ring and Florence Lovegrove.
* Movietone, Planet Records, 1995 (Re-issued on Geographic, 2003)
* Day and Night, Drag City and Domino Records, 1997
* The Blossom Filled Streets, Drag City and Domino Records, 2000
* The Sand and The Stars, Drag City and Domino Records, 2003
* “She Smiled Mandarine Like” / “Orange Zero” (Planet Records, 1994)
* “Mono Valley” / “Under the 3000 Foot Red Ceiling” (Planet Records, 1995)
* “Useless Landscape” / “Summer” (Planet Records, 1997)
* “Sun Drawing” / “Marine Oceano” (Domino Records, 1997)
[ Movietone’s ] second full album found the band specifically set on low-key performances throughout; no sudden shifts to crushing volume here, more a continued, extended dream of darkly attractive (but not dour) full-band mood-outs. Unlike, say, Mazzy Star or Low, Movietone’s interpretation of smoky post-psychedelic jams relies on a definite briskness offset by Kate Wright’s cool vocals, softly husked but not drowsy, combined with subtle arrangements, tweaks, and experiments to add variety.
Whether it’s the sudden appearance of piano leads on the opening “Sun Drawing” or the snaky cool of the rhythm on “Night of the Acacias,” calling to mind a moody ’60s spy movie sequence, often the simplest addition transforms each song into more than the sum of its parts. Rachel Brook’s clarinet work is often the secret touch that lends the songs a little something extra or unexpected, as counterbalance to the low-feedback hyperactivity shown on “Useless Landscape.” The arrangements are sometimes as stripped down as possible — nothing but guitar, bass, and piano appears on “Noche Marina,” one of the most intensely beautiful moments on a lovely album.
Electricity isn’t needed to carry the flow of Day & Night or a song’s individual power; a buried cymbal fill or two aside, “Blank Like Snow” consists of nothing but Kate Wright and acoustic guitar, her obsessive focus suggesting a more deliberate Nick Drake circa Pink Moon. Slow solo piano, meanwhile, stands front and center on “Summer,” with viola-produced drones and Matt Jones’ subtle, barely there percussion creating a most unseasonal chill before a sudden uplift of gentle activity reminiscent of Talk Talk’s late-period bursts takes the fore. The longest track on Day & Night concludes it, with “The Crystallisation of Salt at Night” finding all the members adding just about everything (including Jones on prepared piano) to create an involving ending for a striking, unique album.
Artist – Movietone
Album – Day & Night [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 1997
Genre – Post-rock, Experimental, Music-noir [ EXCELLENT ]
1 Sun Drawing 3:57
2 Blank Like Snow 2:40
3 Useless Landscape 5:01
4 Summer 7:14
5 Night Of The Acacias 5:45
6 Noche Marina 4:47
7 The Crystallisation Of Salt At Night 9:47
Movietone – Day & Night
Recommendations: From The Sky ~ My Beloved ~ Note ~ Le Noise ~ The Monroe Transfer
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