Boomkat Product Review:
Under-sung West Country troupe Movietone's 1995-released masterpiece has finally been prepped for vinyl, remastered and bumped up with a suite of extra material from the same period. It's fantastic, enduring gear - absolute must-hear for fans of Low, Codeine, Tindersticks et al.
We've always been confused as to why Movietone aren't quite as well known as their slowcore peers. The Bristol band - made up of Kate Wright, Rachel Brook, Matt Eliott and Matt Jones - staked out their own space with songs that still sound radical decades later, spiking familiar ingredients with quirky production methods and magical songwriting touches. The band were central to the era's local scene, connecting the dots between Crescent, Flying Saucer Attack and Third Eye Foundation, but offering something entirely different. And their self-titled debut is the best place to start - the band followed it with three excellent Domino-released albums before splintering, but nothing beats the dreamy, dynamic intensity of this 'un. It's filled with whimsical, ambitious compositions that highlight the city's parallel musical history - Bristol might be best-known now for Tricky, Massive Attack and Portishead, but Movietone's legacy is evident when you comb through Young Echo's sprawling catalog.
Just flick to 'Orange Zero', the album's most crushing track, a hazy, skeletal lament that's disrupted by bursts of freeform, skronky noise. Somewhere between Bark Psychosis, MBV and Sonic Youth, this one still stands out on its own. Then there's the pattering 'Mono Valley', that's like the Velvet Underground and Talk Talk at once, punctuated with concrète elements that offset its motorik thud. The album's been bundled up with not only the three additional tracks from the 2003 Geographic Music re-release, but a trio of extra archival finds. There's a brilliant early version of 'Late July', recorded in a garden by Flying Saucer Attack's Dave Pearce, plus demo versions of 'Alkaline Eye' and 'She Smiled Mandarine Like'. Get acquainted!