Rophonic – In With The Out Crowd
It’s been a summer we won’t forget in a hurry, but for me there’s another reason – the first full-length album release from Rophonic. It’s as though they knew we’d need something to listen to on the balmy evenings, so have spent the last three years making an album which is now my soundtrack to this sweltering summer. Their line-up has evolved over the last few years, but at its core has always been the multi-talented musician Michael Harding and singer Peter Rophone, who has a distinctive and beautiful voice, sometimes almost whispered but always totally compelling. The 12 tracks here all manage to have their own unique character but form an album in the truest sense. It’s as though with each new song you turn the page to discover something new, but they are all somehow linked by a musical thread. Tracks like ‘The Jewelled Crown’ have delicate, almost choral arrangements of voices and music, together creating a soundscape, as though you are in some giant, ethereal cathedral. Sometimes, on tracks like ‘The Door Into Summer’ or ‘Across the Coronal Plane’, there are few or no words and the music is a swirling mist of treated instruments. The closing track, ‘Curtain Call’, has a smouldering jazzy feel to it, and is the perfect low-key ending to one of my favourite albums so far this year.