Exposé Online banner

Samuel Andreyev — The Tubular West
(TVR-CD006, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-01-17

The Tubular West Cover art

To start out with, I’ll just say that The Tubular West is an extraordinary album which constantly inspires in me the kind of musical confusion that I thrive on. Coming at it from the standpoint of being completely unfamiliar with Samuel Andreyev, I can’t say I had any expectations, so I took it in track by track, gradually assembling a picture of what the artist is about. Or not. That’s the thing with this album — it’s such an original combination of sounds that it’s challenging to get a handle on. It starts with “Showbox Shuffle A,” which features multiple versions of Andreyev’s voice in a complex arrangement that reminded me of Gentle Giant if Kerry Minnear had handled all the singing. That short track gives way to “Pluto’s Matches,” which starts with what sounds like a medieval organ and bassoon, then morphs into a kind a pop tune with piano and electric bass backing a really acrobatic vocal melody, almost like a really artsy Broadway tune (Sondheim in a mood to challenge singers). Later the vocal line is doubled by a recorder, further complicating matters. Towards the end of the song, the piano goes kind of nuts with offbeat clusters and kitten-on-the-keys craziness. The next track features an eerie mood with a flute melody and dissonant backing chords that could be from the soundtrack of an old spy movie. And then there’s a bouncy circus-like backing for a rather tortured sounding violin or viola. The album continues with similar variety from the challenging arrangements, changing tempos and moods between the tracks and sometimes within them. A number of the intriguing sounds were created by instruments designed by collaborators Olivier and Léo Maurel, and the frequent use of recorders lends a hint of Gryphon, though the context is rather different. At times I’m reminded of Cédric Vuille’s music with L'Ensemble Rayé, though this is a bit more serious. Still, this is an impressive album, with interesting twists that reward repeated listening, and it has a distinctive personality. This is electro-acoustic chamber music for adventurous listeners who don’t feel the need to respect barriers.


Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Samuel Andreyev

More info
http://samuelandreyev.bandcamp.com

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jaga Jazzist - What We Must & Spydeberg Sessions – This Norwegian band has been refining their particular brand of jazz (if that’s what you want to call it) for nearly ten years now, and while some things remain the same from their beginnings,...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues