2011 was the year in which U2 finally got to play Glastonbury only to be blown off stage by Coldplay. Oh…. and Steps announced they were reforming! I can’t remember if it was ‘due to public demand’ or not.
In July 2011, nine years after they formed, Manchester’s Marconi Union released their fifth album, Beautifully Falling Apart (Ambient Transmissions Volume 1) and the first for the Just Music recording label.
Marconi Union is Richard Talbot, Jamie Crossley and Duncan Meadows. They formed in 2002 when Talbot and Crossley met while working in a record shop and the following year released their debut album Under Wires and Searchlights, on the Ochre Records label. But it wasn’t until 2005 that they released a second album, Distance, this time on the All Saints Records label. The following year they played the Big Chill Festival and Eden Sessions, as well as giving their first interview.
Further albums were released through their official website – A Lost Connection (released as a digital download in 2008 & CD in 2010) and Tokyo (2009).
Duncan Meadows joined Marconi Union on a permanent basis in 2010 and together they released Beautifully Falling Apart (Ambient Transmissions Volume 1). The album drifts even further in to ambient layers landscapes of serene beauty while managing to effortlessly entwine elements and whiffs of dub, electronica, glitch and even Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti Westerns. As with much ambient music the album plays out like an imaginary film soundtrack.
My favourite album is Distance which shows a moody, darker side to Marconi Union while they were still toying with lighter beats stimulating the soundscapes rather than the atmospheric purity of Beautifully Falling Apart (Ambient Transmissions Volume 1) that errs away from electronica and towards a contemporary classical music.
Marconi Union are making wonderfully deep, thought-provoking music that should simply be heard and appreciated by more people; which is possibly the reason why Just Music will be re-releasing their first two albums in 2012, along with plans to release a new album next summer.
Beautifully Falling Apart (Ambient Transmissions Volume 1) has six beautifully relaxing tracks that blend into one another leaving the listener in a sublime state of relaxation.
Over the past nine years Marconi Union has quietly whispered their way into the consciousness of those looking to ambient music rather than X Factor 15 minutes of fame. No fanfares. Their fan base is growing organically through word-of-mouth, without hype. Their music is continuing to develop a style all of its own with each release. If you haven’t already indulged your ears in the beauty of Marconi Union, make it one of your New Year’s resolutions.
On 30th January 2012, Just Music will be re-issuing two albums by Marconi Union:
Under Wires and Searchlights & Distance.