Band: Tomas Bodin
Artist Website: www.myspace.com/tomasbodinkeyboard
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2008
If you’ve been following the career of Flower Kings keyboardist Tomas Bodin, you’ll know he’s not afraid to push the symphonic prog envelope in the creation of his music. Each of his previous releases has tended to focus on a different aspect of his musical inspirations and so it with his latest independent release Cinematograaf. The disc is made up of three long instrumental tracks joined together with all manner of weather sound effects.
Tomas Bodin starts Cinematograaf off with the track “An Ocean in Between” [13:50] and the first eight minutes is mid-tempo with plaintive piano performing a beautifully melodic theme that grows in magnitude and layers. Then at about the eight-minute mark a more up-tempo rhythm loop is introduced with the sound effects of laughter and it is immediately reminiscent of Dark Side of the Moon. All the while there are muted trumpets sounds playing fanfares in the background. The synth sounds he’s chosen this time around are very reminiscent of the kind used by Vangelis on his early albums. It’s the kind where the synth lead line is always bending, almost singing the lead line. Then at the twelve-minute mark everything slows down again and we have just a piano and Mellotron styled flute to take us into the transition to track two “A Spanish Ballerina in Love” [19:32] which then slides directly into “Six Six Six” [18:34]. Each of these tracks is structured in similar fashion; there will be lovingly moving melodic themes, mixed with some sound effects or ambient performance, as well as any number of contrasting grand and majestic symphonic styled themes. The music on all three tracks tends to be slower, generating the feeling of riding a craft on an ocean of music, where at times it’s soft and placid and other times you find yourself riding huge swells. Bodin’s music moves you through all manner of emotional ups-and-downs all the while creating a melancholic soundtrack that is clearly linked to the Ed Unitsky designed cover art showing an old styled movie house with people not-so-coincidentally watching an ocean scene on the screen. If you look at the bottom of the screen you see the water coming off the screen about to wash over those in the audience. And so it is with this music, it washes over you, cleansing you of the cares of the day.
I have only one word to describe the music on this record, and that’s ‘gorgeous’. Yes it’s dramatic, it’s symphonic, and even at times a bit haunting, but through it all there are these gorgeous, lovely melodic themes that just play on your mind after hearing them. If you need more of a sonic-reference point, think of the middle-section of “The Friends of Mr. Cairo” by Jon and Vangelis. The wonderful thing is these are long compositions and there’s so much opportunity for musical change-ups, and Bodin doesn’t disappoint. I just loved this record and would have to say Cinematograaf has become my favoriteTomas Bodin album. I highly recommend it.