Chassol ‘Ultrascores II’ (Tricatel) 3/5

chassolThe notes that accompanied this digital only album were in a format my computer did not recognise and so I was listening to this ‘blind’ as it were.
My first impressions led me to wonder whether this was an album compilation by different artists as the styles went from the quiet introspective – almost classical introduction of ‘Lamb Ouverture’ to the indie pop of ‘Les Oiseaux’; from the jazzy pop of ‘Reich & Darwin (The Dashaa-able Prep)’ with its soprano saxophone and mixed up time signature to the electronic soul/funk of ‘I Looove you Negacra’ – all weaved together with little 30 second snippets of speaking voice and single instrument.
It proved a tad annoying at first but once I looked into Monsieur Chassol and saw that he does indeed score music for film, it made more sense.
His influences are Steve Reich, Miles Davis, Stravinsky, Ennio Morricone and The Cure and you do certainly hear most if not all of those influences here.
A few of the songs caught my ear and put a smile on my face – like ‘La Route de la Trace’ a light pop instrumental plucked straight from the 70’s that chugs along sounding unmistakeably French. It features a nice solo violin or fiddle (I think) but could well be a computer generated synthesized sound.
Also one could do a lot worse than to wrap their ears around ‘Friday morning LA’ – a delightful minimal piece featuring voice, piano, electric piano and then bass (synthesized). It runs for more than 6 and a half minutes but you never get bored of it.
Similarly with ‘Free Samak’ featuring just electric keys and flute, this is well played and easy to get lost in – a delight!

‘The Troup (Nola Cherie)’ is an overly long piece weighing in at almost 13 minutes crossing a few different musical genre styles a little crudely. This could probably have been edited to be 3 or 4 songs in their own right perhaps with that common musical motif running through.

Overall, a pleasant listen and certainly an album that you could sit down and take in.
I don’t think the idea here was to hit you in the face with the sounds; more rather bathe you in them. And if you let it do that, you won’t feel too hard done by.

Sammy Goulbourne