Saturday, 22 May 2021

Still holding the sky - Intruder by Gary Numan

 


Gary Numan's compositions have often been running ahead of the times, either in terms of the music, instrumentation, lyrics... or all of the above. After the dystopian visions of Savage, the new concept album Intruder is more about the here-and-now than some imagined future - however, the sound design, music, and production aspects of the album have that otherworldly and unmistakable Numan feel that one expects. 

It is again an introspectice record, in many ways connects us with the world of one of his recent and highly personal albums, Splinter.

Each track seems to be perfectly integrated into the whole that Intruder constitutes as an album, nothing feels out of place - and remarkably, after more than four decades of creative output, at least this reviewer could not find a single track that noticeably differs from the overall feel of the album, in terms of its quality and level of engagement triggered in the listener. 

We have many tracks of an eminently anthemic quality, some with genuine head bobbing potential... Now and Forever is a perfect example, so is I Am Screaming - we may find ourselves singing along at the top of our otherwise modest voices. Numan's melodic inventiveness is still at a sustained peak - many of the melodic phrases of the album have earworm potential, and many melodies, especially in the expansive choruses, have a not often heard beauty. 

Tracks like The Gift or The End of Dragons have those Eastern touches we last heard on Savage, whilst Black Sun takes us into the world of intimate, gentle Numan compositions. If Intruder, the title track, is suitably dark and reaching for harsher metallic rock sonorities, compositions like the aforementioned I Am Screaming show that quintessential Numan characteristic: a track can go from subtle, almost whispering vocal phrases to a soaring, uplifting, and ceiling-lifting chorus in under one second. The emotional effect, the lift, such tracks give the listener are hard to put in words, but Numan fans will be very familiar with the effect. 

This album, too is a collaboration with Ade Fenton, thus in terms of production values, technical wizardry and the overall Numan-esque soundscapes, Intruder excels. It unleashes on us an instantly recognisable soundworld, across the entire range - and the album certainly has a vast range, going from delicate ballad-like passages to Earth-shattering passages. The Chosen or Is This World Not Enough are good examples of how the vast forces at work are managed, tamed, or unleashed with full force.

The electronic percussion, too is highly characteristic, decayed metal parts of dismantled androids and remains of alien spaceships are scraped, banged together, hit with other things... 

As some may hear on some M83 albums, Intruder achieves the rare mixing and mastering fete of having even the soft, subtle, even quasi-whispered vocals come across with perfecly intelligible words whilst immersed in thundering electronic textures.

The term "synth-pop" or "electro-pop", which was used for decades to label Gary Numan's music, is still in use today... But if his recent albums were not sufficient proof of the fact that the use of this label nowadays is just a lazy shorthand, then Intruder once again demonstrates this.

To paraphrase one of the lines from The End of Dragons, Gary Numan still holds the sky as a bona fide electronic music hero, with yet another fully-fledged concept album that dares to move lightyears outside current stereotypical electronica.



Saturday, 10 April 2021

Living, breathing, pulsating Amazônia - an immersive new work from Jean-Michel Jarre



Amazônia is an immersive exhibition focusing on the Brazilian Amazon, based on more than 200 photographs and other media by legendary photographer and filmmaker Sebastião Salgado. He had spent six years in the region, capturing the natural elements and the local cultures.

Electronic music legend Jean-Michel Jarre has composed and recorded a musical score for the exhibition. 

The first and rather central aspect is that this, after many years, marks a return to an ambiental, even musique concrète, soundworld that Jarre fans may know from only a few seminal works.

Apart from some of Jarre's early, pre-Oxygène, works, we have only heard this compositional approach in his sampling-based classic album Zoolook and in the mesmerising, final track of Waiting For Cousteau.

Amazônia will certainly "disappoint" Jarre fans who expect musical output that is either in the vein of unashamedly nostalgic re-visiting of classic albums like Equinoxe or in the quite heavily EDM-leaning mainstream electronic works we could hear in recent years. 

It is not an album with driving sequences and rhythm patterns, certainly not one with sonic fireworks. There is something of the intimacy of the album Sessions 2000 in this, it feels and sounds like a highly personal project with great attention to detail. 

An interesting aspect is that the album's many natural sounds are not actually field-recorded sounds, instead, they were created and/or assembled in Jarre's studio. 

It is impossible to do a track-by-track 'usual' review of the album, as it is an overall sonic experience, with numbered tracks that seamlessly flow into each other. If we think of Tangerine Dream's Zeit or Atem, Vangelis's delicate and intricately minimalistic Soil Festivities, well, Amazônia firmly positions itself in that type of sonic Universe.

Perhaps the most charming aspect of the work is how the countless tiny details combine and how they change. We have occasional appearances of melodic motifs, very subtle sequences, pulsations, but the centre stage is occupied by the sonic elements that conjur the world of the Amazon rainforest. 

It is a symphony of a very special and subdued kind, where the listener is trusted to pay attention to numerous tiny changes in the sounds and the musical elements. There are moments of 'tangible' electronic music, between ambiental soundscapes that seem to purely come into being  and exist without any human intervention.

Admittedly, this blogger admires that particular quality in some seminal works by other EM greats like the aforementioned ones and certainly in works by Klaus Schulze - thus,  in the case of Amazônia we are invited to an, overused word perhaps nowadays, immersive experience.

Amazônia simply seems to exist, filling the available space, floating in the air, with myriad infinitesimal sonic elements that arrange themselves into a veritable constellation of natural sounds. 

It is music, it is a sound, for introspective times - whilst it can be as abstract as some works by Brian Eno, the evocation of the natural world works splendidly, and gives the album a highly organic feel. 

This is not musique concrète that escaped from the labs of some electronic pioneers, not a sterile collage of natural and electronic sounds... It seems to breathe and have currents, undercurrents, pulsations of some greater organism - it has life.

As a landmark in the Jarre discography, Amazônia is a rare and unexpected change of direction after years of adventures in increasingly mainstream electronic music sub-genres. It is a surprise, and if the listener enjoyed Waiting For Cousteau or the sonic introspections of Ethnicolor from Zoolook, that listener will find Amazônia a mesmerising sonic journey. 







Sunday, 21 February 2021

Digital genius: Happy Birthday Wolfgang Palm!

 


On Wolfgang Palm's birthday, it is difficult to enlist just how revolutionary his synthesis method, and the resulting synthesizer, was in the late 1970s.

What the public later became acquainted with under the name PPG Wave was the result of sublime inventiveness and practical genius. 

Palm invented the synthesis method based on rapid cycling through tables of waveforms, the resulting spectral richness and truly unique character of the sounds making it instantly recognisable. 

The key distinction between what some call wavetable synths (which play back complex waveforms, even entire sounds from digital samples) and Palm's method was the use of single-cycle waveforms in tables that the digital circuitry was sweeping / cycling through. Controlling the tables of waveforms, the way in which the sweeps were done etc. one could create astonishing sounds.

Palm's practical engineering genius was not just in the construction of the early prototypes that were fully usable as musical instruments, but also in the creation of the wavetables. Most of the PPG Wave and Waveterm "factory" wavetables are to this day absolute classics, and many digital synths and samplers have imitations or recreations of these classic and unique sounds. 

Nobody sounded like Edgar Froese and Tangerine Dream in the very late 1970s and in 1980, as they were the supremely "lucky" electronic musicians to get their hands on early incarnations of Palm's invention.

If we listen today to Froese's Stuntman solo album and Tangerine Dream albums like Tangram and Exit, we are still struck by the beauty and the timeless nature of the sounds emanating from the PPG Wave synths.

Later it permeated electronic music genres ranging from space ambient to synth-pop, the number and kind of artists using the PPG synths is staggering. One finds the characteristic sounds on everything from A-ha to Ultravox records.

A testament to the enduring value of the synthesis method is that Waldorf synths have brought us many immensely beefed-up variants (including plugins that recreate the classic PPG Wave versions' sounds). 

Waldorf Wave, a hugely expensive monster, was one example - but much more affordable and powerful later incarnations of the technology are with us today. 

Waldorf microWave and Blofeld are just two examples, and Behringer have also announced that they would create a PPG Wave clone. At which point one has to mention that the latter had analogue filters, which gave it extra character - and Blofeld for example models these filters digitally.

Happy Birthday Wolfgang Palm and huge gratitude for revolutionising the electronic sound landscape!




Sunday, 10 January 2021

Homage to kindness: On the passing of David Darling

 

David Darling (3 Mar 1941 - 8 Jan 2021)


Borrowing the title of one of his very recent albums, one attempts to convey on this blog, too the sad news of David Darling's passing. 

The Grammy Award-winning artist, who was fondly called "the maverick cellist", has passed away on 8 January. 

His albums transcended any and all rigid classification boundaries between genres and styles - and his collaborations with other illustrious musicians are simply too numerous to even enumerate here. 

From cello performances to composing, from highly praised and unconventional teaching methods to sublime musical collaborations, David Darling has extensively proven that boundaries are artificial.

He easily moved from collaborations with illustrious jazz musicians like Ralph Towner and Terje Rypdal on the legendary ECM label to spiritual and philosophical works like The Tao Of Cello, from film soundtracks for trailblazing directors like Jean-Luc Godard and Wim Wenders to world music projects like Mudanin Kata (The Way Home).

His solo albums and collaborations are all the products of a kind and reflective soul - it simply was a perfect meeting between his personality and the phenomenally expressive capabilities of the cello. 

He was heavily involved in music projects for children, with wide recognition from music educators and related organisations, too. 

Instead of referring to and being confined by myriad artificial considerations on instrumental arrangements, genres, styles, and technology vs. traditional recording, David Darling has consistently embraced everything from the most ancient traditions to the newest technological achievements. 

His music was released on labels like the legendary Hearts Of Space, as he imagined and conveyed sound worlds with instrumentations that ranged from some of the most ancient ethnic instruments to contemporary electronics.

Rest in peace... and amongst celestial harmonies that only he could hear and channel to us in his music. 




Saturday, 9 January 2021

Pilots of Purple Bandwagons, pardon, Twilight: The new Tangerine Dream box set

 

After the magnificence and well deserved success of the box set In Search Of Hades, a new Tangerine Dream box set was a much coveted release.

Pilots Of Purple Twilight was to contain not just remastered classics from the Virgin Records era (1980-1983), but some previously unreleased material, too - including movie soundtracks that, by now, have an almost mythical aura. 

And so it did... The ten CDs were an almost guaranteed success in terms of sales, especially as the mastering job plus the sublime (some previously unreleased) material on the preceding box set left fans in a state of awe. 

There are some major positives in the POPT box set, too.

The Dominion Theatre concert in London is now finally enjoyable in its entirety. Previously some parts of it were available in the so-called "live" album Logos (which it wasn't). 

Soundtrack of The Soldier is another previously unreleased gem, so are some tracks from TV series that TD fans have only come across on the bootleg circuit before, in variable quality of course. 

And of course... the soundtrack to The Keep is the stuff of legends. After its decades of very troubled history, several bootleg and all kinds of versions of all kinds of soundtrack music snippets, it only had an official release in a limited run on the TDI label. This box set version was heralded as the definitive official release. 

The remastered classics are by no means lesser players in this box set, especially as albums like Tangram or Exit are not just phenomenal, but they also have huge importance in the band's history & discography. 

After all, Tangram marked a major shift in the band's style in 1980, and it is a spellbinding record even in 2020. Exit is an enduring and mesmerising demonstration of a then brand new technology. The use of the revolutionary PPG Wave synthesiser (the brainchild of Wolfgang Palm) is astonishing, and it stands up as a reference example even today.

However... in the wake of the ISOH box set, POPT has several firm signs of bandwagon thinking. 

Sure, Tangerine Dream itself have enjoyed a well-deserved revival after the hugely regrettable passing of its visionary founder, Edgar Froese - and the band acquired many new fans who previously have not been exposed to their colossal discography. 

The bandwagoning effect is detectable not in the attitudes toward POPT or the classic albums included in the box set... It is more glaring in how the box set was put together and advertised. 

The Keep, as if it needed (or could possible acquire) an any more mythical aura than what it already had since the making of the movie, was heralded as a definitive version that would give us a first ever true experience of the movie's soundtrack.

Actually, contrary to the expectations whipped up to fluffy cumulonimbus heights & shapes, the released material is extremely close to the TDI release of yesteryear. This means that it is still lacks several key musical cues from the film... and some of those are quintessential Tangerine Dream in terms of their arrangement, style, and mood. 

For example, what shows up on some bootleg versions as Glaeken Awakens is a stunningly beautiful, atmospheric, and (in its sound design) absolutely instantly recognisable Tangerine Dream track. This, together with other memorable musical moments (even the opening sequence) is missing from this version, too. But it is the version the band originally wanted to release, so... fair enough, but marketing hype vs. reality was quite an expectation management blunder. 

The remastered versions of the classics are "OK", to use this highly technical word... Nothing that will strike one as a revelation. Once again, after the stellar mastering done on ISOH box set of sometimes very troubled original material, one could have expected something revelatory based on the hype. 

Well... yes, there is some shine, some tinkering with stereo separation, and thankfully it does not compress the heck out of the records, as many new remastered versions of many big names in music almost always do. The dynamic range of the remastered versions is still fine, a big relief in the annoying loudness war that has been raging for a few decades. 

The perhaps biggest and admittedly almost scandalous-looking element in the POPT box set is how decision was made to cram extra, well, "bonus" tracks onto CDs that contain remastered classics.

White Eagle is an experience. It is an album with its well put-together structure. It is a musical journey. One that ends with the truly sublime title track. It ends there, and leaves the room changed, the air is very different and we are different. 

The POPT version is something that borders on the inexplicable, and betrays the approach taken by the publisher. Instead of adding another CD to the box set, for all the disjointed extras, the decision was to fill the space allowed by the physical medium with the bonus tracks - after White Eagle ends. 

Sure, we can press the stop button quickly when, in our reverie, the title tracks fades out with the glistening sequencer notes... if we want to have that White Eagle experience without some other tarcks suddenly blasting the just settled air molecules in the room. But this is not the point. 

Who in the right mind, unless just doing some rush job and/or maximising profit while cutting corners, decides to publish e.g. after Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles a bunch of other thrown-together stories just because there is some room left in the chosen binding for the book? 

A rhetorical question. The approach is inconceivable at best, ridiculously amateurish-looking at worst.

Looking at the "bonus" material that was crowbarred onto that CD in particular, the whole exercise is just... puzzling, to put it politely. 

The visual material is also puzzling, and again looks like a "who cares let's just sell this" exercise - even if it was not the real intention.

Some photos are woefully lacking the needed resolution to be reproduced in the size that they are printed at in the box set's mini-book. They look as if somebody did a shockingly amateurish job, taking some very obviously too small photos and badly upscaled them to printed sizes that were evidently beyond what anybody would define in graphic design stage. 

It's a pity that a very commendable effort, with loving selection of unreleased gems and re-issuing of classics, has such shockingly amateurish and downright ignorant aspects. 

Some may have had the misfortune of growing up in a society where one could only obtain music like that of Tangerine Dream via elusive "copy studios", who recorded onto cassettes some copies of legendary albums - as the originals were virtually unobtainable for common people. 

If the enthusiastic kid gave them let's say a 60-minute cassette (which was cheapest and most easily obtainable in shops), then after the recording of the let's say 40-odd minutes of album material there was some extra music thrown in as a loving addition by the "studio". They may have been related to the album in some way, let's say in style or release timeline, or not related at all. 

One just didn't expect to find such random acts in something like POPT - but, at least, the box set triggered some childhood memories of a surreal period in a surreal society, which made one appreciate even more being able to listen to a Tangerine Dream album. So, for that at least, thanks to the publishers...








Thursday, 24 September 2020

From risk-taking imagination to formulaic templates: an irreversible trend in Hollywood film scores?

 

Jerry Goldsmith conducting
Jerry Goldsmith conducting

There was a time, like the somewhat distant 1950s, when a film intended for mainstream market dared to wildly experiment with its soundtrack. 

One enduring example is The Forbidden Planet (1956), which featured a truly ground-breaking  experimental soundtrack. Nothing like that was heard before in a Hollywood film. Further examples from subsequent years abound, and perhaps the secret is that the directors in those cases had more control over the end product than in the case of current (wannabe or actual) blockbusters...

Omen was not exactly an elitist art house venture either, but the late Jerry Goldsmith was given the freedom to experiment... and he did. Who could forget the sheer genius of using a repetitive, whispering but utterly menacing choral motif as the sound of the demonic dogs' breath? 

There was a time when John Carpenter was tinkering in rather superb way with his synths, we had William Friedkin resorting to progressive rock visionary Mike Oldfield or used the sonic imaginings of trailblazing electronic music giant Tangerine Dream. 

When Terminator shook the movie theatres with its footsteps, it did that with a musical backdrop provided by Brad Fiedel. He relied on the very early incarnations of digital sampling technology to produce many of the movie's signature sounds, too. He even had the audacity of using an aggressively pitch-shifted cello sample for one otherworldly sound that now everyone recognises as the ominous cue for the appearance of the Terminator.

Michael Mann, firmly rooted in mainstream and popular genres, had a look at his music collection - and then used everything from Kitaro to Michael Brook to Moby in the soundtracks of his famous thrillers. Think of the music, and its effectiveness, as used in Manhunter and Heat, to name just two key examples...

Oliver Stone and Ridley Scott brought in Kitaro and Vangelis, David Lynch pitched some ideas about a certain TV series to Angelo Badalamenti... 

And then... Hollywood, and not just, had a severe bout of selective amnesia. 

They, and soon everybody who was attempting to replicate successful-looking movie recipes, forgot what film soundtracks could be like - and stuck to some admittedly charming and successful solutions. These recipes that were then endlessly repeated by endless series of imitators, even big names succumbing to the charm of the found and tested formulae.

To say that it is a sound "expected by audiences" is like saying, with similar disregard for the causality chain, that Alex DeLarge expected to be a good lad in Clockwork Orange. If not brainwashed, we have been auditory cortex-washed by the omnipresent 'norm' that certain compositional and instrumental arrangement recipes have become.

It may rattle many cages if one drops Hans Zimmer's name here. Not that he is the problem, but what happened to his highly successful compositional formulae remains a perfect example.

Many may not recall how experimental and cross-genres composer he used to be. Maybe it is worth revisiting his soundtracks for Rain Man, Thelma & Louise, or Crimson Tide... or even some parts of Gladiator. None of them were intended to be art house movies with experimental scores... They were squarely aimed at the mainstream market, but Zimmer had vastly experimented with exotic ranges of sounds and arrangements. 

Apart from a few moments of absolute genius, e.g. S.T.A.Y from the soundtrack of Interstellar (a track that had flavours of Philip Glass's Koyaanisqatsi, seasoned by a pinch of Max Richter), there is a Zimmer recipe that has become a template for what we hear in movies. Using the orchestra for rock-like riffs, staccato minimalist patterns, punctuated with electronic and/or acoustic percussion layers... it is hard to find action scenes in blockbusters that do not follow the template.

Hollywood, a hollow shadow of its former adventurous and risk-taking self, has essentially stopped and even reversed what one could call the evolution of soundtrack composing and orchestration. 

Sure, we have Clint Mansell, or Cliff Martinez, or the spellbinding maestro Thomas Newman as examples of stunning geniuses when it comes to thinking in sounds.

We have had Villeneuve taking risks in Arrival, using Johann Johannsson and Max Richter in memorable and mesmerising manner.

We may have had M83 scoring Oblivion, Daft Punk scoring the sequel to Tron, but then their not quite Earth-shattering success was perhaps a re-enforcement for the mainstream studios' perception of "let's just stick to minimalist ostinato orchestral riffs" à la Zimmer & Co.

It is as if huge majority of studios and soundtrack composers are copying the very same formulaic recipe, and then we have even Zimmer self-plagiarising in astonishing manner. Care to hear the shocking "similarities", to put it mildly, between Time from Inception and Journey To The Line from the superb The Thin Red Line?... Some even made videos directly comparing the two. 

The fear of moving outside the small world of admittedly captivating but used-to-death compositional recipes we hear in almost every single successful action or thriller movie of recent years has basically killed mainstream movie soundtracks.

"Serious" soundtrack composing with completely cross-genre and cross-technology approach can be phenomenal, and yield mainstream success. 

Should we mention at this point Blade Runner by Vangelis?

The significance and the highly representative details of the original's soundtrack are a matter of music, and specifically electronic music, history. 

However, the sequel was a superb example of what happens even in such films. 

The firing of the late and sublime Johannsson, the hiring of Zimmer to make an incredibly self-conscious, trying to avoid imitation and still ending up terribly derivative, soundtrack is a splendid example of the forces that decide what we hear in our movies nowadays.

Is it because directors are not really at the helm of the monster productions any more? Is it because vast budget blockbusters are made by committees, often pre-calculating (or so they hope) the audience reactions with (what they think is) minimising of risks?

James Cameron had quite a say in what and how he used in eminently blockbuster movies not so long ago. Famously, he decided to use for the Titanic drawing scene one of James Horner's early piano-based sketches of what became the main theme, a piece that Horner had not intended for actual use in the film. He himself was quite surprised that Cameron decided to use the piano piece in the very form that it was sent to him - and, as we know, it fitted astonishingly well for the scene in question.

If directors and those with, dare one say, artistic say in the making of mainstream movies do not regain that level of control, we shall see a further flattening of already desperately bland soundtrack compositions. Latter can sound fantastically enthralling and they shake the cinemas' walls with great effect, but they can be lethally bland musically.

Sure, bits of Transformers or Marvel movies are stirring and effective, but that does not negate the fact that they are incredibly formulaic when it comes to compositional and creative thinking. 

So Zimmer and his copyists by now are not really a cause or manifestation of a disease, they are the symptoms of a disease... and the direction in which the disease is evolving, in seemingly unstoppable manner, is clear.


Saturday, 12 September 2020

Multiple sonic pleasures: Multiplicitas by Magic Bullet

 



Multiplicitas, the extra special double debut album by Magic Bullet, another artistic incarnation of the underground and independent music guru that is Mick Magic. This blog, too had the pleasure over the recent years of savouring and writing about Mick's long-standing travails in the underground music scene - and this is yet another epic creative venture unleashed on the rather surreal world of 2020...

The double album consists of Solidarietas and Curiositas - and they take us from something firmly rooted in experimental sound galaxies to head-bobbing high-octane progressive rock.

Solidarietas was reportedly born out of a creative wave that initially provided a shorter work for a musique concrète compilation. This hour-long experimental composition is demanding attention - which is quite different from what often-seen misconceptions about the genre state. 

It may well start with elements of ambient noise, radio broadcast fragments in Russian language, natural sounds - but, like all imaginative musique concrete, it is not background ambiental music. It is clearly a product of the digital era, this is not Varèse experimenting with rudimentary tapes... Thus, there is much more precise control in sculpting sounds - and considerably more processing possibilities that propel the listener into another world. 

In a many ways, the mindset that is required for an introspective work like Klaus Schulze's Sebastian im Traum is needed here. The overall effect, not the individual elements matter here as we are taken on a sonic journey. The processed 'raw materials' certainly seem to fuse time and space, evoking imagery from the Soviet era, moving through the cogs of some immense Pink Floydian machinery, then floating off to some alien corners of outer space...

The second disc, Curiositas brings a mighty energy injection with the opening track, M.M.A.T.T. 33 - which is a mash-up of earlier Magic Moments At Twilight Time works, mainly from Creavolution (latter having been reviewed on this blog, too). It feels remarkably fluid for a mash-up, and with a driving rhythm that will certainly recharge battery cells after the previous meditative journey.

The A.F.C. Song continues on an energetic note, and rightly so - as it is a tribute, firmly rooted in space punk, to A.F.C Wimbledon. Dance, Freak gives us an ambiental, mysterious-sounding repose with sampled and processed voices, with a return to high-octane and tight riffs that have serious head-bobbing potential. 

Stille Nacht follows as a re-interpretation of the traditional song, which will definitely surprise many. It starts as an ambiental journey, with a sonic imagery evoking winter scenes, with a dreamy, but playful, piano arriving on the scene... until a firm and eminently electronic section cranks up the energy levels. 

As Christmas, its natural setting, and the whole sacred/secular juxtaposition of things around that time of the year got a thorough(ly) prog-rock treatment, why not look at (and dive into) Easter, too?

Thankfully, the following two tracks do just that - the first of those, Jesus Is Dead (Let's Eat Chocolate!) has a charming family connection, too with the mastermind behind this double album - as it features a very young family member (undoubtedly also a great fan of, uhm, secular aspects of Easter, namely the aforementioned chocolate).

We keep the energising and forward-driving, even propelling, rhythms and riffs, with a tempo that stays with us for the Jesus Has Risen (Let's Mow The Lawn) track, too - where we have more electronics joining the arrangements, with (no pun intended, or maybe a little bit...) spirited modulations of  synthesised sounds.

The bonus track, which ends our sonic journey from experimental to high-octane prog rock realms, is Live In Session (On Tudno FM) - an edit in three parts of a recent radio appearance, with special live versions of tracks from Curiositas.

Thus, definitely not shortage in creativity and inspiration, which means that hopefully other concept albums from Magic Bullet await us in the future. In the current rather unusual, often well-and-truly mad, times it is certainly a very welcome escape from everyday surrealism.