After a trudging label-related debacle, Manchester’s Marconi Union finally get to release their third album, A Lost Connection in physical form, having originally been released digitally by the duo through their own Marconi Union Transmissions. The band have already released their fourth album, Tokyo, last year, but in a bid to do justice to what has since become a fan favourite, the band have honoured ALC with a ‘proper’ release.
Their music has often been described as being atmospheric, or cinematic, on account of its slowly unfurling layers of delicate strings, glitches and soft, ambient electronics. It’s no surprise then that consequently their work has been used to soundtrack film and art projects alongside many a US TV show. Marconi Union often get compared to Boards Of Canada for pretty much these same reasons though A Lost Connection in particular puts emphasis on more up-tempo pulses, led by deep, smooth bass hits. Plus, the hazy textures and brittle keys that accompany ‘Endless Winter’ for example, bring to mind Cliff Martinez’s Solaris soundtrack more than their apparent Scottish counterparts.
ALC is not a difficult listen by any stretch, if anything, it’s soothing; best suited to night time headphone sessions or long-winded, mesmerizing journeys – which is essentially what this album plays out like. ‘Interiors’ starts like a cross between Explosions In The Sky and Isis, with melancholy, delay-heavy guitar, building into cool, drifting washes of soft noise. It’s beautiful for the most part and sets a standard for the remaining pieces that is never really surpassed. The remaining tracks’ subtle mood changes, sparse instrumentation and generally repetitive nature suit it to background listens. Still, for all the album’s minimalism, it’s hard not be drawn in by the sleepy sprawl of ‘Hinterland’ or the hypnotic pulse of ‘We Travel’.