Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Album Review...Solo Organ - Atom Heart and Beyond the Infinite

Something at little more unusual coming from Douglas Katelus, a film maker from San Francisco.  Aside from films, Doug produces music; usually heavy free form Jazz.  This project was born from an idea to do something, a little more insular, personal.

'Atom Heart and Beyond the Infinite'  was developed using a long piece of music familiar to many and played live against a visual from Stanley Kubrick's 2001 (after the Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite segment). Knowing the source material, it's easy to see that this, as a concept, would work.

Track one 'Atom Heart Mother' is an interpretation of  Pink Floyds epic 1972 'Atom Heart Mother Suite' played through entirely on Hammond Organ.  Whilst slightly shorter in length to the original, the track plays the various parts of suite without any backing. What a wonderful, clever piece this is. Whilst on the surface, a cover version of an already sprawling and epic suite, by a band constantly evolving through experimentation; the track is played out and reinterpreted, by using almost minimalistic drones, yet remaining faithful to this much loved work.  This new translation offers a different side, in a unusually almost cinematic manner. In effect, Douglas has made the isolation of the other instruments, used by Pink Floyd, to expose another dynamic, or edge to the music.

The second side 'And the World Weeps/Beyond/AXIS' is an 18 minute long experimental Psychedelic Jazz piece, taking in slow drones and dramatic free form bursts; it's a cosmic track, sonically driven by other worldly organ sounds. It works nicely as a whole piece, whilst you follow the atmospheric Journey; it also compliments the A side nicely.

Whilst I'm influenced in some small manner (for obvious reasons) as to whether or not I enjoyed the LP; I can see that its appeal may well lie in how well you know or love the original Atom Heart Mother Suite.  I'm also aware that the sound of the Hammond organ itself has some adjuration and the second side of the album will most likely be an enjoyable prospect for those people.
I can only imagine, at the moment, how a live playback with Kubrick's visuals would be; but as an artistic statement.  It's definitely an intriguing one, that the adventurous listener should seek out.
The album is available to stream on bandcamp or can be purchased on limited edition blue vinyl.  It's  a beautiful, thoughtfully presented and packaged record (the colour is the same as a past blue release of Atom Heart Mother by Floyd themselves).  Grab one before they sell out.

Solo Organ on Bandcamp

Buy Solo Organ from Aquarius records

Douglas Katelus Official Site

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