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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Way Ahead of its Time, 16 Aug 2006
By 
Martin Smith "musicbymartin" (The Industrial North) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Abstractions Of The Industrial North (Audio CD)
I'd heard Basil's demo of "I Start Counting" on "Fuzzy Felt Folk", and a quick Google around told me that his library music is very well respected and that he is a cult amongst cults.

"Absrations of the Industrial North" appeared to have the best reviews online, so I ordered it, and although the warm, dreamy fluttering music was no major surprise, I wasn't dissapointed either. In fact, I've a feeling (after 2 plays) that this one will belong on my "favourites" shelf. It's CDs like this which remind me why I still buy CDs rather than downloading everything - try finding this online to download!

The music itself seems to predict my listening habits from 1990 onwards. There's an obvious influence on Stereolab, Broadcast and perhaps Tortoise or Jaga (as Basic writes very percussive music) and it's exotic stuff. One track (The Observer) even reminded me of Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar's "Passages" record. Whilst the tinkling harpsichords and resonant vibes root this firmly in the 60s, the subtle ambience belies its origins. There's also a lot of nostalgia that those of us who grew up in the late 60s/early 70s should love. It's music like this that was playing while you were waiting for the next Schools and Colleges program to come on, or while staring at the testcard, or on some obscure Sunday afternoon Radio 2 show.

Label owner Jonny Trunk apologizes for the sound quality on his website, but there's no need as it's so gorgeously recorded and mastered (especially for 1966) that one can forgive a few slight differences in volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The man from Phibes, 27 Nov 2010
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Abstractions Of The Industrial North (Audio CD)
I became interested in Basil Kirchin's music after watching the 1971 Vincent Price horror film, 'The Abominable Dr Phibes' which, I confess, I have seen many times. Kirchin created the soundtrack and this album is similar in style. He was apparently a jazz drummer who performed with big bands before deciding on a recording career. The musicians he used included the legendary Tubby Hayes and Harry Stoneham, but Kirchin's style, while often jazz-inflected, is distinct from anything in that genre. At its most typical, it has a flighty quality with dreamy alto sax lines leading the way, backed by vibes, organ and flute. It tends to be mellow and melodic and manages to be alternately melancholy and uplifting. It also possesses an elegance and dignity that you can't imagine coming from anywhere but Britain.

The tracks are generally short, the eleven of the original 1966 album being augmented by another nine selections from other releases of that time; Kirchin was prolific back then. One interesting trivia note: 'Pageing Sullivan' is a rare guitar-oriented track featuring Jimmy Page when he was a session man plus Big Jim Sullivan. Kirchin's music is timeless, unique and very listenable.
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Abstractions Of The Industrial North
Abstractions Of The Industrial North by Basil Kirchin (Audio CD - 2005)
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