No Lucky Days
Charles Webster was something of a pioneer of deep house in the UK and has worked across electronic musical genres under various names. Peter Wraight has created music for video games and has collaborated with the Matthew Herbert Big Band – a project not dissimilar to the Webster Wraight Ensemble, at least in scope. For this is “old fashioned” big band stuff, the arrangements call to mind Bacharach and John Barry, the work of Quincy Jones and Gil Evans too – in the way that the jazz clearly flows, but has strings and things to border it.
Opener, A World of Fire, is a lush prelude before The Ruins of Britain recalls the finest work of Saint Etienne or a Morcheeba you might actually like to listen to. I think too of Lamb, without the heavy, sharp drum’n’bass elements. The corners have been rounded with soft swells of brass to cushion trickles of melodic waft.
In many ways No Lucky Days is a flipside to last year’s audacious Jaga Jazzist live album – where that was all bombast (in the best possible way) this is so softly-gorgeous, so impeccably arranged many could miss the point, worrying that this is all about some strange pop songs being couched inside 70s spy movie soundtrack embellishments.
It won’t be for everyone then. But I think it’s a quiet, beautiful stunner.