Australian composer Martin Kennedy is likely best known on
American shores for Unseen Music Unheard
Words, his collaboration with Church singer Steve Kilbey. But he’s been
running All India Radio for a decade; The
Silent Surf is his eleventh release.
One of his earlier records is entitled Film Musik – unsurprising, given that the sonic tapestry featured
here sounds meant to accompany visuals. There’s a distinct Airiness to cuts
like “Shimmer,” “Night” and “Crystal Wave” – fans of the French duo’s work on
the soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides will likely find their pulses racing. But “Ratbags,” “Rippled” and “The Bomb” feature
a languid desert twang more in line with the band Scenic, like an aerial camera
moving over the desert horizon at dusk. “Silk” revels in more psychedelic
textures, which makes up for a melody that never quite takes off. A few cuts
move a little too close to the sound of Windham Hill in the ‘80s, so one’s
mileage will definitely vary.
Overall, The Silent
Surf has much to recommend it for fans of audio representations of
imaginary film scenes.
Waves” MICHAEL TOLAND