on 7 December 2010
Primitive London is the fifth Basil Kirchin release from Trunk Records and comprises soundtracks that Kirchin composed for two largely forgotten British films.
The first six cues come from the 1965 British "mondo" film "Primitive London" which is very possibly the first soundtrack that Kirchin ever composed and despite predating much of his more "serious" work by a number of years (such as the "Worlds Within Worlds" LPs of the early-to-mid 1970s, or Trunk's belated release of his early 1970s masterpiece "Quantum") the recording contains many of Kirchin's calling cards - obscenely beautiful chord shifts and melodies; clever use of tape manipulation and just a hint or two of darkness (okay, in this case quite a lot of darkness, but don't let that put you off). The first cue alone is utterly sublime and is worthy of any soundtrack lover's attention
The final four cues are taken from an early 1970s Ian McShane vehicle titled "The Freelance". As you'd expect from tracks that are titled "The Freelance - Abstract Jazz" and numbered from 1 to 4, the music here is quite err... abstract and jazzy. It's a bit like late-1990s Stereolab or Tortoise, but with strange, free jazz interludes, or some of the stranger Ennio Morricone scores from the late 1960s. The four cues also hang together very well as a "piece" and have a sense of completeness about them.
As with all Trunk releases, the album is lovingly packaged with concise but illuminating sleevenotes and numerous production stills. The sound quality is variable (the masters tapes for at least the first half of the album are missing, presumed lost forever), but never so bad as to impair your enjoyment too much. All in all, another winner from Trunk Records.
on 21 March 2011
Basil Kirchin - Primitive London (Trunk)
Trunk Records has been working overtime to preserve Basil Kirchin's recorded legacy for posterity, and "Primitive London" is the latest in the ongoing project. Very much a composer working at the edges of both the film industry, and music in general, previous Basil Kirchin releases from the label have included "Abstractions Of The Industrial North" and "Quantum", his early `70s ambient-jazz opus.
This CD includes two soundtracks. The first is from the titular film, recently re-released on DVD by the BFI, and it's naïve, sleazy, future-jazz tones perfectly compliment a movie that seedily exposed / explored sexuality in mid-`60s Britain. The latter tracks originally soundtracked an early `70s Ian McShane gangster flick "The Freelance" and is altogether looser in its approach, though just as much fun. Considering half the original master-tapes have been lost or destroyed, the sound quality is remarkably good, and fans of Dave Pike, Don Ellis and esoteric soundtrack music should check it out. 9/10.
on 21 January 2014
How can music this incredible be so little known? Therein lies the mystery and also the delight of knowing that you are among a select few to get the aural pleasure of this record.
Primitive London swings in its jazz inflected take on the seedy and run of the mill everday 1960s London. The music evokes London in its glory but with a dark heart underneath. Exotic, erotic and consumerist 1960s birds galore and then a trip to the battery farm. I also own the movie too, which is available from the British Film Institution. It's a mad time capsule that has bewitched me with its musical strangeness and beautiful sleaze. It's damn sexy in its own way. The Six different cues of Primitive London all work to make up one of the best suites of music I have heard. Words cannot do the music justice, though. In my rather (guilty!) and vast music collection, this is in my top ten albums of all time. its that good. I cannot recommend it more highly and I have not even spoken of he second suite on this record called The Freelance which again, contains some very memorable jazz. Experience it. You won't be disappointed.