Hands down, above all else that has been and ever will, ‘See You Later’ is by far the best Vangelis album to ever exist. In its expanded deluxe version, it has punkish electronic bleeps seething throughout with Battlestar Galactica faux tosca beats on ‘My Love’, desert sands made of small grains of disintegrated circuit boards on the slow motion ‘I Can’t Take It Anymore’, the tale of a spaceship race to a crashing emotional finale on ‘Gestation’ and then a track by Plastics if they’d of been androids replicas of the principal cast of Liquid Sky on the closer ‘It Doesn’t Matter’. All this comes complete with those mental synth wails that sound like strings on a violin that stretch from Neptune to Pluto with comet trails as the bow.
Stuck bang in the middle is this odd little instrumental piece, ‘Memories of Green’.
A piano’s dying lament to the Moon’s reflection in the seas coupled with melting computer sounds and cardiac monitors dutifully beeping in a dark and empty warehouse that stands wind battered on a beach with Saturn rising in the moonlight. This was used in Blade Runner, but its delicacy was somewhat lost with the barrage of millenial noir imagery, imprisoned behind the stark shadows cast by LA shining through the blinds. Still, when listening to tracks like ‘Tears In Rain’, ‘Blade Runner Blues’ and ‘Rachel’s Song’ from the soundtrack you can tell that ‘Memories of Green’ was the blueprint to the whole thing.
I’m guessing a lot of people have not seen The Keep. The director himself, Michael Mann, has specifically requested that studio Paramount refrain from reissuing it on DVD because he is so embarrassed by the whole affair. Now, 20JFG in general have a blatant fetish for cheap and nasty (therefore awesome!) horror films, but while said film is a classic, its a classic for all the wrong reasons. It has that Lovecraftian cosmic horror element to it – castle keep in deepest, forgotten Europe harbours a great evil that lies hidden in a vast cavern of monoliths behind a shining silver cross embedded in the cold stone wall – but when the evil makes its presence known the resulting “effects” are akin to a dodgy film student’s movie.
Good then that cosmic wizards of rhythm Tangerine Dream are on hand to provide the soundtrack, thus lending the crap dry ice and latex visuals a kind of ethereal beauty that they don’t really deserve, but get anyway.
On ‘Ancient Powerplant’ the brooding menace that heralds the energy ball of light that flies from the monolith cluster through the dark tunnel and shreds the top half of a carelessly curious nazi soldier, is steadily replaced by a classic Krautrock beat that makes Harmonia reach for the hotline to they’re lawyers. Odd then that this track, along with all but three others, do not appear in the film at all.
May we also please draw your attention to this promotional video for the awesome cineatic masterpiece that is the new Quiet Village LP?