1-2 Weeks
Hollywood Medieval (2017 Edition)


Necessary first vinyl edition of Hollywood Medieval, the debut album of psycho-geographic dramaturgy by Manchester-born soundtrack composer, Maxwell Sterling. It was initially issued as a digital release on LA-based Memory No.36 Recordings in 2016 to a round of acclaim from Fact Magazine and The Wire and has now been remastered by Matt Colton for this vinyl edition. It sounds as plasticky sensuous as it should, and arguably looks worthy of a wall or pedestal in a Bel Air or Moss Side pad thanks to its striking bespoke cover art collage, titled "She Who Gave Birth To The Three Worlds", by radical feminist and Manchester punk legend, Linder (Sterling), aka Maxwell's mum. Hollywood Medieval is an album about the glaring disparities and elaborate, underlying convolutions the composer observed and felt while working as a nanny for wealthy parents during his film composition studies at UCLA in the early part of the 2010s. Using an augmented palette of classic DX7 and Juno 60 synths along with a severely warped bank of library samples and iPhone recordings, it spells out a queasily evocative simulacra of the city in flux, animating a sort of Ballardian tableaux that's hyper-descriptive in its rendering of the hazy, dosed-up, and often delirious transitions between Hollywood's glamor and grime, using LA's gurning facades and ostentatious wealth as prompts for a richly visual side of sawn-off emotive signposts and jazz-taut turns of phrase that vividly etch on the memory in neon freehand. From the dizzying sugar rush of the opening sequence, "Hollywood Medieval I", to its spiraling counterpoint in "Hollywood Medieval II", the album is an inception-like concerto, with Maxwell smartly subverting the film score composer's role by placing the music center stage and allowing the narration to be carried by virtuosic flourishes owing to the artist's classical and jazz music schooling, In a sense, Hollywood Medieval resonates with the way Sam Kidel subverted the nature of ambient music on Disruptive Muzak (RAVE 014LP, 2016), and offers an alternative, lucid view of the hazy LA offered by Delroy Edwards's Teenage Tapes (2014), and likewise, works like a present diagnosis of the dystopian future worlds dreamed up in The Sprawl's dystopian, widescreen visions on E.P.1 (RAVE 013EP, 2015), effectively broadening and illuminating The Death Of Rave's own sonic hauntology. RIYL: Oneohtrix Point Never, James Ferraro, TCF. Master and lacquer cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy; Edition of 500.