A Compilation Of Music From Fat-Cat’s 130701 Imprint.
Fair play to Fat Cat records. Firstly, to set up the 130701 imprint with the sole aim of releasing records of contemporary instrumental albums (hardly a path to a life of sloth and riches), but to also fill it with such music of unquestionable passion and feeling really deserves some plaudits.
Bands from The Frames to Trash Can Sinatras have opened albums with instrumental songs but these always seemed like intros or novelties. This label gives a home for musicians who fall outside the broad “band/solo artist” category, and perhaps outside the classical too. “Cinematic” would be one apt, but slightly lazy term, to describe the 12 songs on this album, essentially a collection of one song from each of the 12 albums released by the imprint so far, from just four different artists.
Mainly dwelling on strings and piano, the pieces of music become “cinematic” in that they create beautiful atmospheres for your mind to go wandering in. Lost ships seem to float about in the fog on Max Richter’s ‘January Timelapse’ and Hauschka’s ‘Waiting For The Bus’ could be just that, albeit in much sunnier, less stressed places than the streets of our big cities.
Of the acts here, Hauschka’s music is of the playful variety, and Set Fire To Flames is definitely evocative of an imaginary film featuring no words and Harry Dean Stanton. The heart-strings belong to the other two acts. Sylvian Chauveau’s mournful piano would soften stone, coming over all midnight in Berlin. Max Richter packs four pieces of sublime chamber music for the modern age including one lullaby.
It’s impossible not to have flashes of visuals running in your head as you go through this album, but if the true aim of a record like this is to get us to take notice of this label, and its artists’ valiant efforts in this small corner of contemporary music, then it succeeds on all levels. Not only is it a wonderfully whole album in itself, it’s also just a link to a larger collection of albums, many of which undoubtedly deserve inclusion in every considered record collection.