Sunrise, The fifth album by TX veterans My Education, is an interesting album.
Originally,Sunrise, started as the soundtrack of the 1927 silent film Sunrise : A Song For Two Humans, but moved on to be a psychedelic, post-rock journey of deepest human feelings and descriptions of the desolation of rocks in the bottom of the ocean.
It’s not only those soaring cello/viola parts that fits perfectly as the album opener, and as a result – set the tone for the entire album, it’s not only the dominant guitar over the familiar slow rhythms – it’s the perfect and clever mixture of parts that makes the whole so perfect.
It’s hard to relate to this album, knowing that it started as a soundtrack, without thinking of Florian Fricke’s (Popol Vuh) works with German director Werner Hertzog and his inspiration in compositions and aesthetics. You can hear the extra hours My Education spend on listening to Aguirre and even Garden Pharaos, as below the hunting groove and killer guitars in tunes like Oars – there’s a minimal thinking and air.
My Education are clearly not the first to endorse personal soundtrack over old films. Take fellow post-rockers Tortoise work on Hertzog’s Nosferatu, or the acid-folker of Philadelphia with their take on the Valery Project, and even the fantastic All My Friends Are Funeral Singers by Califone (which was written for their own film).
But something in Sunrise is different. All the other movies I mentioned are modern, made in a time when cinema could talk. The interesting thing about this soundtrack, is that it’s actually giving the freedom of speech for the first time, to an originally silent films. So what they did is actually completing the art of filmmaking, 73 years after. Quite and achievement.
If anything, it reminds me of the silly attempt to sync Dark Side Of The Moon with Wizard Of Oz (I was 16, and wanted to be psychedelic) – it didn’t work eventually, but it did provide couple of nice moments. With Sunrise, I have no idea what’s the movie is about but I guess listening to it while playing this album, can provide a terrific experience, where you are free of thoughts as someone composed the thoughts for you.
This genre of post-rock has been squeezed out of juice in the last couple of years, and you can smell for miles bands that are not authentic who just combine sad melodies and heavy grooves. My Education, in their fifth album, simply separates the boys from the men and show what a tight band that’s been around for 10 years and five album, should really sound like. Perfect album.
(My Education, Sunrise, Strange Attractors, 2010)
Further listening : check out Carta‘s attempt in the genre, to find a band who managed to find originality and deliver a great album. Recommended for fans of Godspeed, Mono, Red Sparrows, Kinski and Bardo Pond.