KNOWN in the hallowed halls of dark electronica for his work as The Bug, King Midas Sound and others, when Kevin Richard Martin was offered a commission to write, record and perform a new score for a film of his choice by the Vooruit Arts Centre in Ghent, it’s perhaps not altogether a surprise that he chose Solaris, Andrei Tarkovsky’s classic Soviet-era sci-fi tale of alienation, ennui, memory and loss; it was, he says, a “natural choice”.
That rescoring is an eerie, potent, massively powerful work of dark, mechanoid drone, huge resonance, deep texture, and entirely congruent with the film itself; for both record and film, tread carefully but wondrously. The new score is entirely congruent with the vastness of space in Tarkovsky’s treatment.
Watch out for our full review of the album sometime on the morning of June 20th; we summate Kevin’s treatment overall as “… a dark triumph; so far from music to help you rest easy, it draws that hallucinatory, sanity-testing, fugue-state of the film out, infinitesimally crushing, barely human – and I think there’s the crux, there’s the tiniest ghosts of the human evident in the machine, permitting some immediate, subconscious empathy, or at least seeking thereof. It’s that makes for the distant specks of light and focus.”
Take a listen to the title track, below: it seems to capture arrival in orbit – keeps that furious astral storm of drone and grain swirling past your portholes, obscuring everything else from view. Huge pillars of sound drop, partly rebound as outside the storm finally shifts its currents.
Kevin Richard Martin’s Return To Solaris will be released digitally and on strictly limited, gatefold sleeved 2xLP by Phantom Limb on June 25th; you can place your order at the label’s Bandcamp page, here.