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Bardo Hotel Soundtrack

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Album Review

The purported soundtrack to an experimental film-in-progress by Bay Area filmmaker George Kakanakis, Bardo Hotel Soundtrack is a set of live in the studio improvs heavily influenced by the cut-up method popularized by William Burroughs and Byron Gysin. The 20 tracks range in length from under a minute to over 11, but there's a consistency of mood and sound throughout: woodwinds, strings, and synthesizers play long droning chords and simple melodic fragments, as chopped-and-mutated found-sound recitations unspool underneath. The placid surface is broken only once, by the unexpectedly rhythmic pop/rock blast of "Baron Brown" almost exactly halfway through the hour-long program. Otherwise, Bardo Hotel Soundtrack is a hazy ambient drift with just enough sinister undertones to keep it from drifting off into the new age ether; longtime fans expecting something closer to Tuxedomoon's original art punk intentions might be disappointed, but when approached on the proper wavelength, this is a deceptively engrossing listen.


Formed: 1977 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The music of avant-garde, electronic-oriented collective Tuxedomoon ranged from new wave pop to jazz fusion to more experimental synthesizer soundscapes (usually including saxophone and violin), which were frequently married in concert to performance art shows. The group was formed in San Francisco in 1977 by two electronic music students at San Francisco City College, Blaine L. Reininger (keyboards, violin) and Steven Brown (keyboards, other instruments). Brown's local theater connections supplied...
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Bardo Hotel Soundtrack, Tuxedomoon
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