Château Flight

Les Vampires

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Following in the path taken by such performers as Pat Metheny and In the Nursery, French duo Château Flight were commissioned to create a soundtrack to an old silent film, in this case a murky, sensuous series of French films from the 1910s. Without the visuals to directly compare anything to the soundtrack must stand on its own for the casual listener, though, and happily Les Vampires does work as a sprightly modern electronic album shot through with evocations of a lost and distant past. The galloping rhythm on the second track suggests horses and railroads running at full steam, while the squirrelly, nervous radio-signal-gone-strange elements on the fifth song suggest broadcasts from a long distant past slipping through the atmosphere. Other sonic elements call to mind a chronological midpoint between then and now, thanks to the semi-theremin swoops and swirls on the third cut, a miasmic and quite compelling mix of sci-fi noise, lounge grooves and random calls and cries over a deep, thick bass and beat. Guest performer Nicolas Villebrun adds some guitar parts at various points, nothing too out of place with the duo's general work and often a fine complement to everything else in the mix (and, presumably, the screen). The full-on Motorik drive which provides the centerpoint of the fifth song is a perfect example of drama which Villebrun helps with immensely, matching the relentless build of the beats. In all Les Vampires does not sound anything like a period re-creation, which is all to its credits-- it stands alone as a passel of exciting soundtrack music, no matter the context. Gilbert Cohen, the more computer-driven side of the partnership, provides the brief but enjoyable liner notes explaining the genesis of the project.

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