Exposé Online banner

Phillip Johnston — The Adventures of Prince Achmed
(Bandcamp Asynchronous 002, 2018, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-06-01

The Adventures of Prince Achmed Cover art

Providing soundtracks to vintage silent films has become a very trendy thing for contemporary musicians, with bands like We Stood Like Kings devoting their entire efforts to it, and others such as Cabezas de Cera and Amy Denio also taking part. With The Adventures of Prince Achmed, Phillip Johnston takes on a very interesting film, one of the first animated features ever produced. Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 movie is the oldest surviving full-length animated production, and Johnston’s music provides an interesting accompaniment, sometimes offering unexpected juxtapositions. The film is available in various places online, so watching it with this new soundtrack is easily doable. The story is divided into sections which correspond to tracks on the album, and the moods fit nicely, with Johnston using some vintage-inspired elements to go with the images, though he avoids any kind of period fetishism, and freely incorporates modern touches as well. In general terms, the music could be called jazz, and has qualities in common with Johnston’s other ensembles, The Microscopic Septet and Fast ‘n’ Bulbous. The ensemble includes the composer on soprano sax, James Greening on trombone, Alister Spence and Casey Golden on keyboards, and Nic Cecire on drums. The keyboards most prominently include organ, which is used for a variety of atmospheric effects as well as melodies, chords, and bass lines. All of the compositions are engaging even aside from their relation to the action on the screen, and the album works on its own quite well. This is yet another success from Johnston, who is proving himself to be a formidable composer and leader within a musical niche of his own making.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Phillip Johnston / Coolerators, Alister Spence

More info
http://phillipjohnston.bandcamp.com/album/the-adventures-of-prince-achmed

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dave Sinclair - Full Circle & Into the Sun – Dave Sinclair has long been known as the main keyboardist in Caravan. During recording for the group's The Unauthorized Breakfast Item CD, a rift between Sinclair and longtime bandleader Pye Hastings...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues