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- Soft Focus by Soft Focus
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“This record is for the hardcore avant garde fans”, exclaims the press release for this record, seemingly inviting those with a less-than-hardcore interest in the avant garde to give it a wide berth. I’m happy to say that those people would be missing out because this album is actually a delicious and beguiling collection of quite soundtracky, evocative instrumentals which have probably been made whilst pulling a series of very serious faces.
The characters pulling those faces are the legendary Jimi Tenor and his friends Mia Theodoratus and Lary7. Mia twinkles away on a harp, Jimi mostly sticks to flute (I could swear I hear a sax on a couple of tracks but there isn’t one on the equipment list provided), while Lary7 utilises his expansive collection of rare vintage synthesizers and percussion instruments to fill out the sound with queasy horror vibes, bringing it into a space somewhere between Moondog, Goraguer’s Planete Sauvage soundtrack and the forward-thinking soundtracks of Polish horror maestro Andrzej Korzynski. When the harp is going full twinkle it even has a slight feel of early Disney film scores.
Far from being the obtuse weirdness that only hardcore avant garde fans would like, it’s a beguiling and experimental collection from names with proven pedigree whose appreciators will include, but not be exclusive to, fans of the avant garde. Fans of new-agey chuntering and spooky soundtracking will most likely be equally intrigued. It sounds like some lost early experimental synth soundtrack from the mid-’70s to early-’80s, except it’s new!
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