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For The Lonely Hearts Of The Cosmos
Brighton, UK-based Jean-Emmanuel Krieger's debut full-length for Melodic. Named after a Soviet missile launch base in Khazakstan, Baikonour's distinct, prog-jazz flavored electronica takes its cues from a rich seam of like-minded artists that have been mined from Krieger's hometown of Versailles, including names such as Air, Super Discount and Alex Gopher. Jean-Emmanuel's own musical upbringing progressed through many stages, as is reflected in his own creative output, as the man himself admits. Growing up with "Pink Floyd from Dad and Marvin Gaye from Mum" he later found himself "obsessed with British indie-pop of the '80s, like Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine. I think you can hear a lot of guitars in my album and I've always been fascinated by guitars and the variety of sound you can get. This is why I like the Cocteau Twins, MBV and Sonic Youth as they have that in common." These days, however, you're more likely to find him plugged into a wide variety of styles, such as Jamaican music, Krautrock, as well as Indian music. What other influences? Alice Coltrane, Soft Machine, Os Mutantes, Television, Manuel Gottsching, Japanese noise, Neil Young, Eno, Cluster and Deuter, '60s psych, Scott Walker, Amon Tobin, Boards of Canada and Mouse on Mars. This intricate path of musical touchpoints has served to enrich Baikonour's own output with every flavor imaginable, steering from Kraut-influences to jazz and always underpinning each piece with, simply, great tuneage. For The Lonely Hearts Of The Cosmos adheres closely to its principles, and to the style and inspiration of the sounds he grew up with. Recorded and edited on a Mac using digital emulations of classic '60s compressors and EQs, this record lives by the oath of collaboration and was recorded in a truly pan-continental sense with live drums played by Lee Adams from Imitation Electric Piano except on "Hoku To Shin Ken" which was played by Eiji F. Morotomi and recorded in Tokyo, Japan, with additional guitar contributions from Etienne Rodes. The result is weirdly gorgeous, spiralling electronics punctuated by familiar, anthemic pop-song sounds.