Tim Gane and Sean O'Hagan: La Vie d'Artiste (Too Pure)

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Tim Gane and Sean O'Hagan: Yoko Johnson
Tim Gane and Sean O'Hagan: La Vie d'Artiste (Too Pure)

In the long and ever-changing list of "favourite bands" two names come up for me consistently, Stereolab and the criminally ignored High Llamas whose Sean O'Hagan was doing Brian Wilson better than Wilson was for over a decade.

Soundtracks in the absence of seeing or knowing much about the movie can be difficult affairs, but with Stereolab's Gane and O'Hagan penning the music for Marc Fitoussi's French flick this one is gentle gem: plenty of soft-light strings, some of those classic Beach Boys arrangements (sans vocals), suggestions of Bacharach, drifting ambient sounds, quirky French cafe music . . .

There is a temptation to describe this as dinner party music but that would be unfair. It can certainly serve the purpose of being charming background music, but there is quirky stuff going on which repays careful attention.

This is also a generous double disc: the first being the movie music, the second being material that didn't make the final cut.

Positively charming.

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