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Graham Reynolds and The Golden Arm Trio Cult Of Color Review

Soundtrack. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

A mixture of starkly rendered monochrome and more subtly coloured music.

Colin Buttimer 2009

Subtitled 'Soundtrack to the Ballet', Cult of Color refuses to sit obediently in any single genre, instead straddling several over the course of 55 minutes. Traces of jazz, rock and industrial music are discernible alongside soundtrack styles. Graham Reynolds' highest profile work to date was his soundtrack for Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly and a gothic, theatrical streak runs through this music too.

The liner notes describe the ballet as a mythic, tribal world where colour is dreamt of, then discovered in a subterranean world. Reynolds' compositions are, appropriately enough, a mixture of starkly rendered monochrome and more subtly coloured music.

A World Without Color begins in commanding style with brutally methodical percussion and braying saxophone. The music then continues without pause into the echoing, gentler sound world of Sesom's Dream, shaded with marimba and vibes. Betto's Lament could be mistaken for a Tom Waits instrumental, made up of twanging guitar, plangent strings, heartbeat percussion and kalimba. Elsewhere, The Darkness Babies is pleasingly strident, drums are beaten mercilessly and Paul Klemperer's saxophone rages and snorts into darkness.

The Golden Arm Trio belies its name by comprising 17 musicians, a little under half of which are string players. Their presence, although integral, mostly comes second place to the prominent rhythm section. When heard on their own, halfway through Sesom And His Disciples, they emphasise an anxious, forbidding strain to the proceedings.

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