Alex Menzies :: Order & Disorder (Kathexis)

Order & Disorder brings together twenty pieces of contemporary classical music. Flickering machine sounds sit between rich and textured piano sounds. But that would be to do this absolutely wonderful album a disservice.

Alex Menzies :: Order & Disorder (Kathexis)

A refreshing musical surprise is a great thing. You think you know something, you’ve got an artist figured out; but you don’t. Alex Menzies is responsible for my own latest “Ahhh riiight. It’s himself” moment.

Who is Alex Menzies? Good question. I hadn’t heard of him before until I came across his new soundtrack album, Order & Disorder. And Menzies? Well many of you will be familiar with him as Alex Smoke, the Glasgow based techno producer. Under his better known moniker this Scottish synth man has been delivering a diverse brew of dancefloor fodder for almost two decades. But under his birth name, nothing. Until now.

The collection goes back to the Scotsman’s classical roots. A trained cellist the renowned techno artist returns to orchestration, string instruments but all being steeped in electronic refinement. The music has been brought together for an upcoming documentary on BBC exploring the often hidden world of physics.

A very brief synopsis would be that Order & Disorder brings together twenty pieces of contemporary classical music. Flickering machine sounds sit between rich and textured piano sounds. But that would be to do this absolutely wonderful album a disservice. Short emotional bursts are followed by cleansing rinses. Cold, muted tones sit aside warm and inviting compositions.

Order & Disorder is perhaps the most engaging soundtrack I have heard in years. Form is loosely maintained, but maintained. Melodies flow and ebb, drifting into the distance before returning revived and renewed. I’ve come back to this record again and again, sinking into it. Headphones, submerged in Menzies’ sonic brilliance.

Order & Disorder is available on Kathexis.

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