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Music Review: Picture Palace Music – Curriculum Vitae I The Aside Ones

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Curriculum Vitae I The Aside Ones is not only a sonic feast, it’s a visual feast as well. Close your eyes when you listen to the opening notes of any of the cuts and immediately, irrevocably, appears a 19th or 20th century artistic setting.

Even the cover art is reminiscent of van Gogh’s Sheaves of Wheat, and boom!, suddenly you’re in a café in 19th century Paris, a brown café in Amsterdam, a posh café in Vienna, the European art world taking place around you as you sip your wine, or eat an iconic Sachertorte at your sidewalk table in front of the Sacher Hotel.

The opening cut on Curriculum Vitae I carried me to The Outer Limits, an old black and white television show. “There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical …”

Cut 5, “Waving Goodbye, Waving, Waving Part 2” and I was standing in front of Schönbrunn Palace in 19th century Vienna, listening to the notes of Beethoven’s “Für Elise” filtering from the Grand Hall inside.

Cuts 4, “Morgengrauen,” & 6, “Schrek’s ‘non vampiric,” put me into a time warp back to mid- to late-1980s Miami, watching Crockett and Tibbs racing through the streets with Jan Hammer’s pulsing beat blasting from the speakers.

Cut 7, “Day of Wrath,” is the lull in the action woven into chase and fight films, where our protagonist is fighting his own internal battles, which galvanize him to reenter the fray that he’s on break from. You know, moody, thoughtful, where the protagonist is driving along, alone, his brain Rolodexing from subject to subject, person to person, and he’s trying to sort it all out. Ends with a flourish of drums then a short musical interlude, which reinforce our hero’s determination. Think Jimmy Caan in the movie Thief, with, appropriately, another space group’s soundtrack. You may have heard of them: Tangerine Dream.

Cut 8, “Auerbach’s Night Club,” it’s easy to picture yourself in a place similar to Club 57, or one of those Oh-So-Hip nightclubs that took off and flourished in the 1960s and 1970s in NYC, Miami, LA, and a few other places. The places where people were clamoring and fighting to get in, only because they couldn't.  The title is spot-on appropriate.

Cut 10, “Powercutting,” is the denouement, where the disjointed scenes above all come together, and everything becomes clear. Cut 11 carries on this dawn of understanding; pensive, moody, the winding down.

To cap things off, there’s a very clever website which conveys the image of an old black-and-white movie

Fourteen cuts, just under 78 minutes of nonstop scene-shifting, at the end of which you’re exhilarated and exhausted.

I was unable to find Curriculum Vitae I listed on Amazon; however, it’s readily available from Ricochet Dream, the U.S. distributor.Plus, since Curriculum Vitae I was initially on an import label, the price is much more palatable from Ricochet Dream, with an added bonus of a wide choice of selections by this group.

Curriculum Vitae I is a first class production from start to finish, the artwork, the music, the layout, and the order of the music. Very highly recommended.

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About Lou Novacheck