Marconi Union Different Colours New Album released 18th June Just Music Recordings
“Marconi Union are amongst today's most talented musicians” - Sunday Times
Listen to the lead track, Flying (In Crimson Skies) here
In the realms of modern-day late night ambient exploration, Marconi Union often draw comparisons with Brian Eno and Biosphere, perhaps Sigur Ros, but the graceful manner with which their richly melodic compositions unfold and the emotions these evoke sets them apart from their peers.
Even Time Magazine recently hailed one of their tracks, Weightless, as “aural bliss”, and placed it at no 11 in their Top 50 Inventions of 2011. Across five albums, informed as much by Jamaican Dub as Joy Division, there are streaks of black humour and pools of shimmering beauty revealed in their slow undulating groove. And however bleak things might sometimes sound, there's always a glimmer of hope, a faint glint on the horizon.
“A melancholy thread definitely runs through everything we’ve done,” saysRichard Talbot, who teamed up with his partner in MU, Jamie Crossley, ten years ago when both worked in the same Manchester record shop. “But we try very much to capture a feeling. One of the things I love about electronic music is that there’s a lack of emotional content, and I think we actually try and get an emotional content to what we do.”
Marconi Union’s new album, Different Colours, their sixth, is the first to prominently feature the work of pianist Duncan Meadows, who joined the group initially for live duties and was asked into the fold more permanently in 2010. Playful and brighter, Different Colours is aptly named and finds Marconi Unionshifting the focus from cool introspection to a friendlier, dynamic sound pierced in places by electric guitar and hushed vocals. Whether Duncan initiated this fresher outlook or not, on Different Colours Marconi Union have a certain swagger – and it suits them.
In addition to their seductive music appearing on commercials and US TV shows,Marconi Union find they often appeal to other likeminded artists. Scottish painter Colin Lawson published a book of his paintings inspired by our album A Lost Connection.” One MU collaboration that went down particularly well was with Italian trumpeter Giorgio Li Calzi on 2010’s “Blue Lights”, a cracked jazz number.Marconi Union are admirers of the current Scandinavian jazz scene, and with players such as Nils Petter Molvar, one senses parallels with Marconi Union’s arrangements.
Assessing their discography, what strikes you is how Marconi Union’s albums are each quite unique in the way they carefully explore and develop the group’s distinctive aesthetic. “You d'nt need to be into electronic music to enjoy what we're doing. If you took any of our records you’d know it’s by us but each one hopefully has a personality of its own. I think one of the things that’s difficult for us is we don’t fit into any obvious boxes. We’ve never been contemporary in the sense that we’ve never chased trends or done cool remixes. We’ve not been part of any scene, and to be honest we've preferred to go our own way.”
Though the crumpled qualities of Marconi Union have been smoothed out to a degree by the addition of Duncan on Different Colours, the lasting impression is still one of exquisite world-weariness.
“I think there’s something about the music that you can tell it’s been made by people who’ve been around the block a few times. We couldn’t have made our records when we were 20,” says Richard, “One of the great advantages of being older is you get a sense of context about things. You see where things fit in and you don’t get so distracted by momentary stuff”
Six albums in and MU are still making music that is timeless.
Marconi Union's release Different Colours / Album on 18th June on Just Music.