Nicolas Godin, Contrepoint - Album review

Download: Club Nine; Clara; Bach Off;  Elfe Man

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The Independent Culture

This solo debut by Air’s Nicolas Godin explores various elements of Bach, but without slavishly transposing his music to modern instruments in the manner of Wendy Carlos.

Instead, Godin uses themes and fragments from Bach as the jumping-off point for diverse musical explorations. In “Club Nine”, he borrows the “Take Five” rhythm, brushed out behind a cyclical piano figure, stained with resonant Bach chords on vibes and keyboard; and for “Clara”, the husky Latin croon of Brazilian singer Marcelo Camelo swoons over a stately dub arrangement of strings and woodwind.

The seven-minute “Bach Off” is the most dramatic piece, a suite shifting between interlocking Latin percussion, African highlife sax, stalking piano and harpsichord/woodwind interplay; while the blend of music-box, cellos, French horn, pizzicato and vocal pad makes “Elfe Man” sound like an outtake from Pet Sounds. A rich, rewarding indulgence.