The band describe this work as, "approaching an apocalyptic noir narrative," and Night Within, despite its slate visual appeal which recalls the grey paintings of Gerhard Richter, thematically points towards a world occupied by the early postmodern detective stories of Paul Auster and the urban neon dislocation of Taxi Driver with its existential protagonist roaming the city alone late at night."
Heavy words for heavy music. The atmosphere of this record makes me think "jazz for a dark alley". There is a definite lurking menace here, a modern take on noir soundtrack. Reminiscent of the doom jazz artists like Bohren and der Club of Gore and Mount Fuji Doom Jazz Orchestra, LAND wisely forego the Angelo Badalamenti elements. They know how to create tension and build to a near crescendo. This is really intense music with a casual delivery, much like the calm and cool demeanor of a film noir character. My first thought was Alain Delon in a 60's Melville film set in a cold Scandinavian climate.
The two composers are UK musicians Daniel Lea And Matthew Waters. These two assembled quite a cast for this faux soundtrack. Guests include David Sylvian (Japan), Daniel O'Sullivan (Ulver, Guapo, Miasma, Aethenor), Alexander Tucker (everywhere with everyone) and an ensemble of woodwinds, brass, guitar, keys, bass and drums. The album was sculpted in Reykjavik by Ben Frost.
This one will certainly sneak into my End of Year list.