Exposé Online banner

We Stood Like Kings — USA 1982
(Kapitän Platte , 2017, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-10-20

USA 1982 Cover art

In 1982 film maker Godfrey Reggio released the movie Koyaanisqatsi, a montage of different shots without a plot, but focussed on nature, humanity, and their relationships. Avant-garde composer Philip Glass provided the soundtrack for Koyaanisqatsi, the Hopi word for “crazy life” or “life in turmoil.” Now 35 years later, the Belgian group We Stood Like Kings, has recorded their third album USA 1982 as a new soundtrack for this movie. Band members Judith Hoorens (piano), Philip Bolten (guitar), Colin Delloye (bass), and Mattieu Waterkyn (drums) play a set of eleven neo-classical, post-rock, progressive instrumentals that are essentially one long piece with eleven movements. Each track is in the 4 to 10 minute range and they all follow the same basic format. Each starts with a minimal and/or delicate motif that slowly develops and grows to a rousing climax with the full band rocking in the style of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I have never seen Koyaanisqatsi so I cannot comment on how well the music supports the film, but I am guessing that you would have to listen to this music in context with the movie to fully appreciate how the two complement each other. For example, track four “Nuages” or “Clouds” begins with Judith’s delicate sustained piano that imparts an airy floating New Agey jazz vibe for the initial minute and a half. Then the full band kicks in followed by many mood and tempo shifts that take me away from thinking of clouds. As with any movie soundtrack, the music is intended to support what the viewer sees on the screen, and that is where listening to USA 1982 by itself may be a disadvantage. Then for me, after reaching track eight I found myself overwhelmed by the music and searching for some respite that only comes when the music stops at the end of Disc 2. Taken in small doses, you can really appreciate the intricacy and multi-layers of the music. But if you try to absorb the full 82 minutes in one setting, that may be over-saturating your aural senses.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): We Stood Like Kings

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Moving Gelatine Plates - The World of Genius Hans – MGP was an early French underground band that eschewed the tendency of other bands of that period in France to propogate a left-wing political message. By contrast, MGP's lyrics (in English) were...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues