Harmonic 33 – Music for Film Television and Radio Vol.1 (2005)
“Music for Film, Television and Radio” is a tactful homage to 50’s and 60’s noir, bringing a modern touch to those smoky bar soundtracks. Where Pritchard’s first Harmonic 33 album, “Extraordinary People” investigated this same motif accompanied with downtempo beats and slight nods to old school hop hop, “Music for Film…” attempts to be more faithful to this idea with straight lounge tactics which could come right out of a 50’s detective movie. The song titles are aptly named; “Carousel” lives up to its title, with spooky organs and strings that wouldn’t sound out of place in a haunted house. “Departure Lounge” is, well, loungey in a very old school way; modern beats and tempos are replaced with flutes and sparse guitar melodies. As it happens, the only real low point of the album is “Funky Duck”. With its quirky beats and Moog-y quacks and splats, it simply falls flat in relation to the context of the rest of the album. However, “Planet 54”, the album’s closer, is frighteningly great. With a heartbreaking organ melody and sinister undertones, it’s the perfect way to end an evening of noir-ish entertainment.