Can you remember your first soundtrack? Mine was the Jerry Goldsmith‘s version of ’Legend’. It was riveting. It opened my eyes and my ears to the wonder of sound that can come from an orchestra… the dynamics of sound… the calming pastoral moments… the excitement and the awe… I was hooked.
I experienced a similar feeling when I began to listen to the Bersarin Quartett’s release entitled ’II’.
In short, it sounds like the soundtrack to a film that I haven’t seen but, after hearing it, desperately want to see. Except it isn’t a soundtrack and, unfortunately, there isn’t a film that it accompanies. But there should be… it’s that good!
’II’ sits proudly at the intersection of neo-classical and ambient electronic… a collection of tracks that really bring out the very best in both genres. It does, at times, remind me of the work of fellow Scot (and a bit of an idol to me) Craig Armstrong… his work intersects the two genres perfectly too. If you are familiar with his work then you will absolutely love ’II’.
With a strong focus on more pastoral orchestration… strings in fluid motion and a focus on both harmony and melody… as well as glitchy, atmospheric electronics… this album is a delight to soak up.
It is deeply immersive but retains the listener’s attention through moments of sheer brilliance… a glitchy found sound formed into a rhythm, a deep and dubby bassline or a James-Bond-soundtrack like stirring string flourish.
I guess that’s the genius of this album… you can approach it as a soundtrack and you won’t be disappointed… or you can approach it as a piece of neo-classical music and you won’t be disappointed either. It sits just as well in the foreground as it does in the background… although my definite preference is the foreground.
I heartily recommend Bersarin Quartett… especially for folks who love an atmospheric and immersive soundtrack (even though it’s not a soundtrack)… and gladly give it 8 out of 10.