All being well (Amazon permitting, anyway) when I come home from work tomorrow night I may have Vangelis’ new album Nocturne waiting for me.
A new Vangelis album is a rarity, as I have mentioned before. I can vividly recall first listening to ‘new’ albums (as opposed to buying his back catalogue) of Soil Festivities, Mask, Direct, Voices, Oceanic, El Greco and so many others. Funnily enough this morning I was driving on my commute listening to his China album, a personal favourite, and the track Himalaya, revelling in that old Nemo Studios sound. Sweetest sound I ever heard. Its a sound Vangelis moved away from decades ago, but that just makes it all the sweeter.
Nocturne of course will be devoid any of that Nemo Studios sound, and any electronic soundscapes will be mostly absent barring some tonal textures, as it is a piano album at heart. I have heard the two tracks that have been released prior to tomorrow’s album being launched and they indicate the general feel of the album, I guess. It sounds fine, still a Vangelis album, I am certain, but one that may have a unique ‘sound’ amongst his discography, which is certainly a bonus. It may sound like heresy to most fans, but I’ve been growing weary over the past decade or two of Vangelis’ ‘sound’- ever since the Direct album he has used what has been termed the ‘Direct’ device, a system of creating/recording music ‘on the fly’ allowing Vangelis’ music to be spontaneous but it does suffer from the music sounding very much… well, not the same, but… the samples he uses, the pads and infections etc leave it sounding like the same electronic orchestra. I think the old Nemo sound was more varied, helped at least by it requiring live percussion and some real analogue instrumentation. It sounded more organic, I think, despite being mostly electronic. There is something a little too digital, too artificial about some of Vangelis’ later work. Perhaps being piano-based, Nocturne will sound different, and more authentic. I’m looking forward to it- all being well I shall be able to post a review of first impressions over the weekend.