Review: After the brilliance of his intoxicating Themes From An Imaginary Film album, there's no doubt that Chromatics producer Johnny Jewel is on a roll. Here, he returns to his roots to helm the fourth full-length from the futurist crew, their first since 2007. In typical fashion, it's a beguiling set that draws on Jewel's usual cinematic influences. Musically, it sounds like a particularly heart-aching road movie, shuffling across the mid west via dark soundtrack moods ("Candy","11th Hour" and "Dust To Dust"), fragile balladeering ("Birds Of Paradise"), eyeliner-laden electronic moodiness ("A Matter of Time"), and Johnny Marr-goes-to-the-movies indie-pop (see "Kill For Love", "Into the Black" and "Back From The Grave").
Review: ** REPRESS ** Italians Do It Better continues with their deluxe reissue pledge for 2010 delivering the definitive edition of Chromatics classic 2007 album Night Drive. For a multiplicity of reasons (most notably misplaced master tapes) the version that has gained a million column inches in the past three years was never meant to be heard, an incomplete demo version burned to hand out at tours. Having located the masters some 18 months later, Simonetti and co do the smart thing in presenting this deluxe edition, replete with the five tracks missing from the demo CD and fully remastered. Thus Johnny Jewel's original cinematic vision is presented in its full glory seeping in analogue warmth. Enough words have been dedicated to the tracks that filled the 2007 demo version that it seems redundant to spill any more ink on the matter though the Kate Bush cover does sound delicious! The five extra tracks make this a more than worthy purchase, from the poignant piano heartbeat of "Shining Violence" to the final departure via the Carpenter esque synth dynamics of "Accelerator".
Review: On its initial vinyl and download release late last year, Cherry was proclaimed by critics as being one of Chromatics' strongest albums to date. Given that the Portland band have now released seven acclaimed sets, that's some claim. This first "deluxe" CD edition adds previously unheard cuts and alternative versions, but it's the core set - featured on the first half of the CD - that really sparkles. As you might expect, it's not only full of the atmospheric, slow motion synth-pop with which they made their name, but also a swathe of cuts heavily influenced by the cinematioc soundtrack work Jonny Jewel has been concentrating on since their previous full-length dropped back in 2012. In other words, it's quite possibly Chromatics' most evocative and rounded set to date.