I recently bought the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Strange, really, that I'd not considered doing so until recently, because it's one of my favorite films of all time. Every time I watch it--and I do so a lot, mind you--it still leaves me a bit puzzled, if not pensive. But Kubrick's decision to make the soundtrack a mixture of modern composers and classical compositions proved quite astute. Hell, I'll even be honest enough to say that the soundtrack scares me a bit.
I bring this up simply because I'm hearing a lot of that soundtrack on VCV’s 3753 Cruithne. The work of Brian Grainger and David Tagg, these nine compositions are deep, heavy, and dark; they embody space, literally. The songs are slow, brooding, and about as vast and meandering as outer space. Like the 2001 soundtrack, these songs haunt you as they wonderfully soundtrack a disturbing journey to Jupiter. In fact, I made a playlist containing a few of these songs and a few of Grygori Ligeti's compositions, and I never noticed when one switched to the other. When I shared a song with a friend of mine, he said, "Oh, by the way, I just sold some Stars of the Lid records on eBay." Yes, VCV follow in SOTL's footsteps, too; unlike other drone artists who have imitated the Texas duo, the duo of VCV seem to understand "understated" in the same way.
3753 Cruithne is an excellent debut. I don't know if VCV is a one-off; let us hope not. If it is, then let us praise it as a harbinger of greater things to come.
If you want more, though, Brian Grainger has also released a solo record. Entitled Eight Thousander, the album contains songs not unlike VCV's epic, calm space rock, but Grainger also explores more terrestrial sounds, and he incorporates piano throughout, producing gentle sounds that remind me of Harold Budd. It's beautiful and not as ominous as VCV's style, and it is a relaxing instrumental trip.
Listen To: VCV--"229133 Vargas"
Listen To: Brian Grainger--"Wind Calmly Bends Our Hair "
VCV’s 3753 Cruithne and Brian Grainger's Eight Thousander are both available now on Attack9
Labels: Attack 9, Brian Grainger, experimental music love, VCV