Murcof | Lost in Time
Glacial Movements (CD/DL)
Released later this week is Mexican electronic artist Murcof‘s latest, Lost in Time which we previewed (videos, etc.) a while back here. It’s fourteen tracks broken into Chapitres I-XI with an intro, an epilogue and an audio exclusive track. The haunting lead-in is a melodic drone that reaches the entire audio spectrum like tentacles unravelling to every corner. It’s a foggy dim ambient that is multi-layered like an elusive dream. Fernando Corona has really come full circle from his early techno proclivities to concoct an orchestral masterwork that comports lightness and dark for our difficult social time in history. From the collective of choral arrangements to their twisted somber echoes and shrill distortions you are witnessing a true artist at his most lucid in terms of editing and the overall enchanted mix.
In Lost in Time, two parallel narratives intertwine: the first follows a helmet-clad, faceless horse and rider adrift in an indeterminate landscape of ice and snow, quite literally lost in time and space, while the second seems to allude to a strange scientific experiment…The protagonists – two beings bound by a certain mutual dependence – are forever trapped in a time loop where life and death ceaselessly rotate. The use of what are almost exclusively black figures against white landscapes produces a menacing, otherworldly atmosphere that is also stunningly beautiful. The original soundtrack of the film, blends the aria of the Goldberg Variations sung by Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal….The soundtrack also exists as an autonomous work entitled Lost in Time (Goldberg Experienced.05). Coproduction Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and Casino Luxembourg. With the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. Composed by Murcof, the soundtrack of the film Lost in Time was the subject of a previous double album co-produced by Patrick Bernatchez and the Casino Luxembourg in 2014.
The spirit of the soundtrack must illuminate, ruminate or otherwise reinforce the cinema in which it’s attached to. Though I’ve only seen a few of the short clips yet not the extended feature, it has to these eyes, exceeded in its representation on that front. The luminous flow between open channel, sweet and intrepid piano keystrokes with the chorus and ambient white noisescape gently shifts in each vignette, or Chapitre. Corona has this sensitive, yet edgy way of combining disparate elements that buzz just out of reach, as well as making sense of misshapen, melancholy chords.
It’s got effervescent pockets that are filled with prolonged keys, whammied feedback, and some light jagged distortion. When random wind instruments enter I hear a distant cousin of Philip Glass (as heard on his Qatsi trilogy), but then all becomes so soft so suddenly, eclipsing the bolder passages here. That is done quite effortlessly, or so it “seems” to the ears of an experienced listener. He never loses sight to re-emerge as on Chapitre VIII where out of the quietude comes a reverberating clash, a resonant action that tenders tangible after shocks. The atmosphere becomes a ghostly barren environment in its wake. If you have binge-watched HBO’s Westworld you will be instantly drawn into this universe concocted by Murcof, one where the post-apocalyptic is not only an alternate reality, but within our risky reach.
His use of chords and tones collide nicely in the final act of Chapitre XI here. It’s a blistering whirl of nightmare-ish drift that seeks the heights of airspace. The Epilogue draws back down into an ambient calm, slow disembodied keys resonate into gray particles until the rumble of Chapitre N (piste audio exclusive sur GM) enters. It’s an alienized dark ambient nourished in a dubious isolated space. It just floats with a lustrous air about it vanishing almost deafeningly into white light.