fri 26/11/2021

Album: Kevin Richard Martin - Return to Solaris | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Kevin Richard Martin - Return to Solaris

Album: Kevin Richard Martin - Return to Solaris

The Bug’s mainman takes an unsettling trip into outer space

Return to Solaris: spaced out

It takes a brave musician who thinks that he or she can do a better job than the combined talents of Russian electronica trailblazer Eduard Artemyev and Johann Sebastian Bach. However, Kevin Martin, also known as The Bug and a prime mover for such sonic experimentalists as King Midas Sound, Zonal and Techno Animal, is clearly not someone who lacks either artistic ambition or confidence.

For his latest project, Kevin has taken on the task of rescoring Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 celluloid sci-fi opus, Solaris.

It’s fair to say that Martin has produced an eerie and dreamlike alternative soundtrack that is not only every bit the equal of the original score but one which is perfectly capable of standing on its own feet, removed from the film’s visuals. However, as with many of his previous more ambient-leaning albums, Return to Solaris is best heard in one continuous sitting to feel its full impact.

Largely beatless, unsettling and otherworldly drones like “In Love with a Ghost” rub up against bleak and dystopian, grinding industrial ambience like “Concrete Tunnel” and “Solaris” to create a haunting and intense larger piece. “Hari” has hints of his Concrete Desert collaboration with Earth’s Dylan Carlson, while “Together Again” has a relative warmth and intimacy while remaining sparse and minimalist. Nevertheless, Return to Solaris is no one-tone trip into a cold musical fog. Minimalist and sinister, it takes the listener on the cosmonaut, Kris Kelvin’s journey into a strange hallucinatory experience far from Earth that is epic in scope yet spectral in tone. Like the film, it turns and twists while evading complete understanding, yet it remains utterly engrossing to the very end. Indeed, if Return to Solaris is intended as Kevin Martin’s request for an original cinematic soundtrack project of his own, it is surely one that suggests he would be more than up the task.

Martin has produced an eerie and dreamlike album that is every bit the equal of the original score

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Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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