Released 03 September 2010
A little while back I asked Bombazine Black’s Matt Davis whether he worried that the band’s, largely, instrumental guitar music was now unfashionable with an increasingly fickle audience; especially considering it had been over a decade since the zenith of the ‘post-rock’ genre. His response was brief and succinct and it caught me slightly off guard. “No, I don’t worry about that,” he said.In this day an age of manufactured pop and music as business, Davis’ response could be viewed as arrogant and dismissive; as if to say, ‘I don’t give a toss what the audience think’. On the other hand, if we view making music as an art form then this response makes perfect sense. This is, after all, independent, alternative music and not (with apologies to Bob Geldof) how to compose popular songs that will sell; as Davis goes on to explain: “I really think music should just be made for music’s sake, there’s enough commerciality and phoniness in the world without musicians adding to that. I think it’s far better just to make the record you want to make, hope there’s an audience for it somewhere and then move on to the next one.”And move on they have. With Motion Picture, Davis’ collective move beyond the relatively closeted sounds demonstrated on debut Here Their Dreams and expand their sonic palette to produce an album similar in spirit but remarkably different in its texture and dynamism. These are clearly band compositions; measured, structured but also sprawling, warm and ‘felt’ as opposed to cold and constructed. The early work of Davis’ hibernating Gersey is a general touchstone here, echoing the melancholy pop of Hope Springs and even harkening back to the metronomic qualities of debut EP Bewilderment Is A Blessing.Where the album’s predecessor was borne of, and sounded like, Davis’ internal musings, the aptly titled Motion Picture is a widescreen production in comparison. The filmic references are deliberate in this case. The album’s title is baiting to a degree; its self-efficacy is inviting and admirable, almost like a wink and a nod to those that would immediately label Bombazine Black as soundtrack music. Yes, the likes of Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky have walked that road and the misguided would argue that the results were indistinguishable from their ‘regular’ albums but the difference is that the music was written with someone else’s pre-existing images in mind; those of the filmmaker. While Davis was undoubtedly inspired by events, memories and/or dreams when penning these tunes and indeed they are ‘about’ certain things, Motion Picture invites the listener to create their own images to fit these songs, instead of the other way around.Davis and co. prove with Motion Picture that they are brave enough to produce a record that may not shift gold record numbers but will secure them a following of loyal listeners keen to open themselves up to heartfelt, emotive music that trades in sincerity and timelessness instead of movements and fashion. Daniel Osmolowski, Wireless Bollinger
Bombazine Black are an instrumental, Melbourne-based band with a sprawling, atmospheric sound and a boatload of talent. They are set to release their second album, Motion Picture, on September 3rd, and we at Ctrl-x have been lucky enough to snag a copy. The band was founded by Matt Davis, who also created Aussie indie-rock outfit Gersey, and features contributions from Daryl Bradie, Dan Tulen (both from Gersey), Miles Browne (Art of Fighting), Tayalor Holland (Monroe Mustang), Jayne Tuttle, Michael Emenau and Eugene Ball (Allan Browne Quintet). The opening track is a beautiful, subtly performed number called ‘Annelets’, and sets the tone for the album perfectly. Like the work of comparable bands such as Spiritualized, Sigur Ros and even Radiohead, BB’s music is soft, hypnotic, atmospheric and intricately structured. The chemistry the band clearly possess is put to excellent use, layering and weaving and effortlessly crafting soundscapes that are subtle and smooth and relaxing and amazing. Davis himself has composed numerous film and theatre scores, and his ability to effectively write extended instrumental pieces which are dynamic and interesting and enjoyable to listen to is put on show here. I mentioned the opening track by name, but there aren’t any truly standout tracks – and that’s a good thing, when they’re all of as excellent quality as the songs on Motion Picture. This is your soundtrack to a lazy Sunday night with a bottle of red and a stick of incense. This is music to listen to. 5/5. Ben Vernel, Ctrl-X
Mellow yet filled with a form of optimistic, surreal ambience, Motion Picture by Bombazine Black is a fitting soundtrack to the beginning of summer. Filled with melodic, prevailing guitar alongside light percussion and keys undertones, this album coaxes one into a sort of trance, within which I might envision some carefree, naturalistic persons lying around a secluded field or forest. But, away from my romantic imagination, Motion Picture remains a rewarding musical experience. Motion Picture is a title that perfectly captures the essence of this album. Every track on this album is voxless, supporting the cathartic feel of the music. Despite the similarities between tracks one through to seven, each one serves as an individual piece contributing to the final product. The opening track is an understated, epic introduction to the rest of the album, which seems to travel in waves. ‘The New Ruse’ resonates positivity in its 3:50 length, containing a backing of organ sounds and light keyboard. Next, ‘Montmartre’ features the cello, while ‘Roosevelt’ is short and sweet with a beautiful piano overtone. But, ‘The Bel Esprit’, which is found towards the end of the album, is my personal favourite. So light, with horns in the background and either xylophone or piano played in a very high key in the forefront. In general, the second record for the unconventional group formed by guitarist Matt Davis is a musical progression dispersed in to seven mellow tracks, all of which seem to be a level-up progression from Bombazine Black’s last record, Here Their Dreams. Love it, particularly as everyone chills out to inhale the summer air. Josie Smart, AU Review
Just finished listening to Motion Picture by Bombazine Black. And loved it. From the very moment I held the CD cover – I just had a feeling I was holding onto something beautiful. I’m a little speechless. This album is incredible. It’s emotive, delicate and yet extremely powerful. If you’re a Sigur Ros fan – then you’ll love it tracks like The Bel Esprit – overall the minimal guitar sounds are contemporary and beautiful. There’s a lot of heart in this album and I can’t say enough about it. Make sure you get a copy. TheMusicBlogs.com.au
Produced by M.
ANNELETS, THE NEW RUSE, MONTMARTRE, DARK KELLYS and THE BEL ESPRIT were recorded live at HEAD GAP, Preston in July 2009 by SLOTH.SPRINGHEEL SUNSET and ROOSEVELT were recorded live at SUNSET SOUNDS, Los Angeles in September 2008 by CHRIS REYNOLDS.Vibraphone played by MICHAEL EMENAU recorded at CITE JOLY, Paris in July 2009.Trumpet played by EUGENE BALL recorded at TENDER TRAP, Northcote in AUGUST 2009 BY PATRICK RYAN.Mixed by MR TIM WHITTEN, Sydney, August to December 2009.Mastered by ROGER SEIBEL at SAE Mastering, Phoenix, Arizona.
BOMBAZINE BLACK are:
M: electric and acoustic guitars;
MISS JAYNE: piano, B3 Organ, Mellotron, Moog, Farfisa, bells;
D. BRADIE: electric guitar;
DAN TULEN: drum kit, percussion;
MILES BROWNE: bass on ANNELETS, THE NEW RUSE, MONTMARTRE, DARK KELLYS and THE BEL ESPRIT;
TAYLOR HOLLAND; bass on SPRINGHEEL SUNSET and ROOSEVELT;
EUGENE BALL: trumpets;
MICHAEL EMENAU: vibraphone
All songs by M. DAVIS (Mushroom Music Publishing)
Photography by JAYNE TUTTLE.
Layout by IAIN DOWNIE.