Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Artists' Rifles by Piano Magic, download iTunes now.

Do you already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Artists' Rifles

Open iTunes to preview, buy and download music.

Album Review

The notion of making a concept record seems antithetic to the standard operating procedure of Glen Johnson's Piano Magic, a collective who relies on revolving-door collaborations to materialize oft-scatterbrained pop experimentalism. When you think about it, staunchly adhering to that loose-natured principle can be as limiting as painting yourself into a corner. So ha — here it is, a concept record from Piano Magic based on the first World War that whittles the number of instrumentalists down to six, opposed to the This Mortal Coil- or P-Funk All-Stars-like tally involved on prior records. Musically taught, conceptually focused, and a lot more open to interpretation than the memorial-depicting artwork implies, Artists' Rifles is Piano Magic at their most solemn and lulling, splitting what seems to be communication between a soldier and his lover (vocals are shared between Johnson and Caroline Potter), with a handful of brief instrumentals. Everything glides by at a funereal pace — played by guitars, bass, drums, and cello — implying the same inner violence that Joy Division songs like "The Eternal" or "I Remember Nothing" carry, but with less weight and more emphasis on resigned melodies than haunting production nuances and a troubled voice. The most significant — or only other — pop record to base itself on a World War is Pink Floyd's The Final Cut, one of the most stifling what-you-hear-is-what-you-get deals on such a subject; where Pink Floyd and movie directors like Oliver Stone practically tell you what to make of it, Piano Magic is more on the Stanley Kubrick end, leaving each moment open to interpretation. The most audibly violent aspect of the LP is the martial drumming that bookends it. Indeed, the listener is just as important as the players. A thoroughly spooked record and equally lovely.


Formed: 1996

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Due to a wide range of influences, restless/relentless creative energies, and a supporting cast that's too numerous to list in full, random peeks into the catalog of the Glen Johnson-helmed Piano Magic -- from super limited-edition singles on Spanish independents to full-length soundtracks -- rarely result in the same thing twice. Started in the mid-'90s by Johnson, Dominic Chennell, and Dick Rance with the intention to base their recordings around a small nucleus and whomever would like to contribute...
Full bio
Artists' Rifles, Piano Magic
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this album.