Il Collo E la Collana / Libanon
Whenever Markus Acher finds time between his work with The Notwist and Lali Puna, he sets out to record film soundtracks under his solo moniker Rayon. This time it's Eleonora Danco's 2015 film N-Capace that inspired ten cinematic, instrumental sketches based on loops that loom, take shape, and change colors, only to vanish an instant later. Acher's understated tracks, created with both electronic and acoustic layers, can do without titles - Il Collo e la Collana 01 through 10 is perfectly sufficient - because, ultimately, they're one entity anyway. After all, it's Danco's film, influenced by Fellini, Bunuel, and Beckett, that triggered these interpretations and set the tone for Il Collo e la Collana. At times clocking in at less than two minutes, the crackle of these tracks leads to a vast, shimmering expanse over barely audible layers of bass; it is here, in this clearing, that Acher, alone with his headphones, combines various acoustic instruments (mallets, harmonium, glockenspiel, guitar, piano) with samples, keys, beats, and drum computers; it is here that he meets some old acquaintances (Egisto Macchi, Bruno Nicolai, Ennio Morricone, Oronzo de Filippi) or reverses an idea so that it can slip where it belongs. The entire soundtrack is a purely instrumental, pastoral landscape of epic proportions. Whereas Eleonora Danco eventually released her latest movie as N-Capace, Acher sticks to it's working title, Il Collo e la Collana (The Collar and Necklace), and his collar not only includes music that's not part of the original movie, but it also traces his path as a musician, with warm, soothing harmonies, melancholy moods, intentional cracks, the kind of freedom usually associated with jazz. Just like the movie, which Acher describes as poetic and surreal at times, his soundtrack feels like an album of snaps; experimental, shot from unexpected angles, and often beautifully strange (which happens to be the common thread that links all Alien Transistor releases). This CD also includes Libanon, Acher's soundtrack for the late Michael Shamberg's 2006 film Maitre, Lihseb Please, originally released as a 10 in 2006. Supported by cellist Sebastian Hess and singer Victoria Bergman, it's a stunningly melancholy trip to Beirut that features local samples over harmonium, with nods to Fouad Elkoury's photography and Etel Adnan's writings.