Not music for an imaginary soundtrack, thank goodness: Christian Grothe aka Kryshe initially made this music as a score for a special screening of the 1915 film Alice In Wonderland. A confounding synthesis of contemporary, free jazz and brooding filmic ambience, the record's atmosphere matches the darkly joyous surrealism of Lewis Carroll.
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It might have something to do with it being late on a Friday afternoon, but I’ll cut straight to the chase anyway: this new one by Kryshe is a sumptuously beautiful record. Gorgeous textures and slightly melancholic melodies with tranquil keys and guitar abound, with the occasional bit of muted, mournful brass snaking in here and there -- as on the opening track, ‘Queen’s Court’.
‘Night’, which steadily follows, is an otherworldly foray into the black unknown; what sounds very much like a music box / rubber bands being plucked harmoniously follow a distant chorus and a carefully plodding rhythm. Christian Grothe wrote, produced and made all the sounds himself with the help of an array of instruments and a little electronic processing. Which is obviously all very impressive in itself, but that he has produced something this atmospheric is astonishing to my ears. Low bass chords set against unusual sounds, chimes and resonances, affecting a chilled yet slightly uneasy ambience. The album did start out in its lifespan as soundtrack to the 1915 silent film reading of Alice In Wonderland, after all… and you can’t get much more fantastical than that.
At times reminiscent in atmosphere of Bersarin Quartett -- particularly their highly evocative ‘III’ album -- and at others of (wait for it) Harold Budd’s meditations on piano and guitar, March Of The Mysterious is a moonlit journey into the wonderful. For fans of the eerie without the weird.
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