Title - 'A Portrait of John Doe' [Vinyl]
Artist - Floex/Tom Hodge/Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
For those not in the classical know, much like me, Floex (aka Tomas Dvorak), is a Czech clarinetist, composer, producer and multimedia artist from Prague) and London-based Tom Hodge is a British composer, pianist, and clarinetist; who recently scored McMafia.
Together, they bring classical and radical “avant-garde” electronic music to the masses.
Released on June 29th, 2018 via Mercury KX (a division of Decca Music Group Limited) on vinyl (because, come on now, everything musical always sounds better on vinyl), A Portrait Of John Doe sees the duo following on from their recently-released 'John Doe Arise EP.'
1. "Inauguration Of Nobody"
2. "Wednesday (Is The New Friday)"
3. "Machines Are Dancing"
4. "John Doe Arise"
5. "I Dream Of Ikaria"
6. "Prelude I"
7. "Prelude II"
That 2 track EP, which comprises ‘John Doe Arise’, and a stunning remix of the original from Max Cooper, is the second in a three-part EP series, this album being the culmination of their intriguing collaborations.
The pair began work on the album after meeting at the Berlin festival in 2014 and has thusly taken three years to complete. Working alongside the Prague Radio Symphonic Orchestra (PRSO) to bring the music and their arrangements to life, A Portrait of John Doe is one incredible exceptional work of music art, of that you have my word.
As this eclectic album will have a little of something for everyone, my own personal favorite track is "Wednesday (Is The New Friday).” Beginning with some rather jazzy pizzicato strings, swaying percussion, after a few breaths is settles into a delightful, poetic piano movement.
Culminating like a seasoned wave gently landing on the shore of an abandoned beach, it is, for my money, the most completest of tracks I've heard in over a decade.
Sure, it's not a simply piano track, for it has an industrial undercurrent that, at times, seeps through rather ominously, but its overall tone is one of gentle playfulness; albeit one that, at times, rides a delicious synth melody.
The other musical moment(s) I would openly nod to to give your full attention would be the stunning two-part “Prelude.” Evolving as it slyly moves along, and not the happiest of sounding tracks, that's for sure, it ebbs and swells rather cinematically, nonetheless.
Meaningful, heartfelt, sorrowful piano and strings combine like lovers with female vocals, but all too soon are quickly overwhelmed by more of their industrial fetishes.
Not a bad thing, perhaps a wee bit convoluted, sure, but combined with a frenetic, pulsating synth beat, it suddenly rises the vocal dramatically skyward. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.
Ergo, I recommend this highly inventive album to any fan of music: no matter what genre.
Vinyl Purchase Link