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Iain Carnegie Reviews

Alex Tronic Records ~ ATRCD083 ~ 6th October 08

It’s immediately noticeable that Iain Carnegie has flirted with film and television composition, such is the atmospheric swathe of the opening 15-minute Rise. on this, his debut album. The clever cover art further adds to Carnegie’s seemingly effortless depiction of musical isolationism.

Opening any album with a quarter-hour soundtrack segment is boldness personified whichever way you look at it, although. As with many artists who add composition to film, when the images are removed you are often left with a linear aural experience that is hard to conceptualise unless it’s a purely ambient piece.

In contrast to that, Carnegie keeps his lengthy opener moving, changing its micro-themes via piano, vocals, short drum breaks and even prog-rock elements, before moving on to a more traditional album format for the remaining 9 tracks.

From here on, Carnegie keeps Rise flowing with equal diversity, from the maudlin organs of Oiseau VIIIA, to the dreamy electronica of Bevatten, complete with saxophone segments and futuristically-treated female vocals. The deathly horror-flick keyboard motifs present on Warm Cold Feeling are particularly John Carpenter-like, but Carnegie takes a David Lean break in the middle – ushering us into a surreal ulterior landscape, an example of his capability to, on occasion, successfully lure the listener and realise his vision.

it’s almost as if the album is a CV for further film or television work - a project rather than an album. However, there is undoubted talent at work here – the classical piano on the remote yet emotive To The Vanishing Arctic is splendidly effective, although polar to that comes the new-age keys of the faintly obnoxious BongScatMusic. Meanwhile, the closing For Nick Drake sounds more like a post-bloodshed ode to John Rambo rather than an ode to one of England’s finest singer/songwriters.

Overall, a real mixed bag of an electronic album, exposing Carnegies considerable skills as a keyboard player and producer.

 

Barcode Magazine 7.3/10

 

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