Album Review by EDF
Every now and then, an artist gets a wake up call and releases his own capabilities. Robert Miles got his wake up call when Deconstruction, his previous record label, asked him to change certain tunes on his second album, 23 A.M., to make the album more commercial. Robert Miles realised that his music should represent part of who he is and this was compromised. Since then he has set up his own label, S:ALT, and the first release from the label is Robert Miles’ third album ORGANIK.
This album is quite a departure from his earlier work such as ONE AND ONE and CHILDREN. Robert has expressed an interest to work on a movie soundtrack and first track TSBOL could easily have come straight from a James Bond movie. Could be that David Arnold might have some competition to stop him from claiming his hat trick of Bond scores. With the help of The London Session Orchestra, the texture of the songs here now have more depth then his previous releases. WRONG has an Asian feel, thanks to some masterful guitar playing from Nitin Sawhney and he features on POUR TE PARLER which sounds like something from a thriller movie.
With the orchestra featuring on a small number of tracks how does the rest of the album hold up? Not surprisingly, quite well. SEPARATION is mostly a rhythm track, IT’S ALL COMING BACK could easily be featured in one of the Matrix sequels. CONNECTIONS brings up an image of a person being chased down the street of a foreign country.
PATHS, the only song on the album with lyrics, features Shruba Ghosh on Sarangi. Nina Rocha Miranda, who people will recognize as the vocalist on the Smoke City’s track “Underwater Love”, supplies the vocal on this track. This one yet again conjures up images of foreign lands. TRANCE SHAPES is best described as Robert’s rock track with one foot in the dance genre. RELEASE ME, IMPROVISATIONS PART 1 & PART 2 features Bill Laswell on fretless bass of which the first two mentioned tracks sound like something that the Ozric Tentacles would come up with. With its travelling through other lands setting, you could almost believe you were somewhere else listening to those tracks. IMPROVISATIONS PART 2 threatens to turn into a jazz-funk workout with Trilok Gurtu whose frantic drumming ends up being the highlight of the track.
Going by what Robert Miles expressed in his interview, which is featured elsewhere on PHASE 9, this is an album to which he hopes will bring him closer to scoring a movie. Meanwhile, what will people think of this? I would like to think that his fans would stick by him and accept this evolved artist and his album. The tunes and the featured artists all work well together. As a commercial album, we will have to wait and see how well it does. For someone who is not a fan, that person should take a leap into the unknown, buy the album, put it on, close your eyes and let yourself be taken away for 60 odd minutes. It sure beats watching Big Brother.