The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcome here produces, not the soundtrack to a film, but a ‘soundtrack’ to the idea of a non-existent film in the vein of classic French New Wave directors. You know that'll sound lovely. Musique de film imaginé includes the vocals of SoKo and Asia Argento, and is released by ‘a’ Recordings on dashing pink vinyl (or less dashing CD).
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The problem, I guess, that people could have with this record is that it's not really a Brian Jonestown Massacre album - even when you take into consideration their propensity for veering all over the musical landscape (as on the excellent career high of last year's ‘Revelation’). That’s not to say this isn’t an enjoyable work, which it is. You just need to separate it a little in your mind from their usual studio output and you’ll be fine.
It’s one of those “soundtracks to a film that doesn’t exist” type things. The compositions are full of Gallic/Euro flair and utilise vocalists SoKo and Asia Argento, who are of French and Italian descent respectively. So there’s no real need for the album to exist other than for a reason to pay tribute to the great European film directors of the late '50s and '60s. But I’m glad it does. On highlights such as ‘L’Enfer’, BJM’s cinematic leanings come to the fore. Most BJM albums have a track or two in this vein: a pounding, skyscraping, repeato-instrumental with flutes and horns. ‘Elle s’echappe’ is, in a similar vein, a Gainsbourg-style track with a lovely horn motif. The more incidental pieces between the tracks are less necessary but if you were soundtracking a film, these would be just as important.
What we have here, in essence, is the 'instrumental-soundtrack-side' of The Brian Jonestown Massacre across a whole album. You’ll miss the variety, but it’s still an interesting and sometimes life-affirming listen, particularly on ‘Le Sacre du Printemps’ with its doomy cello-led downward spiralling melody and rare use of Anton Newcombe’s voice.
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- Musique de film imaginé by The Brian Jonestown Massacre
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