Chroma Key

After the score “Ghost Book“ for the Turkish horror comedy “Okul“, Kevin Moore already releases the third album of this band project Chroma Key. Again the basis for this release is a movie – yet, not as a kind of matrix for film music but as a source of moods which were put into gripping sounds by the former Dream Theater and OSI keyboardist. Without a doubt, “Graveyard Mountain Home“ is the best Chroma Key album so far.

“The score for ‘Okul‘ was a great inspiration for me,“ explains Kevin Moore. “Instead of developing song ideas out of nothing I could write music for the events happening on the screen, which gave me moods and structures. When I began working on the new Chroma Key album I missed this structured approach. And so I looked for an old movie which I could use as a kind of blueprint. I wanted to make an album with songs that could stand on their own, although the prevailing moods should come from a movie.“

In the Prelinger Archive for Public Domain films Moore found what he has been looking for long ago. He decided to go for “Age 13“, a 1955 film. The movie deals with a boy who wants to bring his late mother back to life by staring at a radio that his mother had listened to often. “I reduced the film to half of its speed und firstly developed sounds fitting to the scenes. Regardless of that, I wrote song lyrics and melodies to match the sounds. So there is no direct connection of the songs to the action in the film, but nevertheless a subtle connection caused by the moods in the movie.“ This sounds thrilling but also complex. However, the result is first class entertaining music: a sophisticated and seething mix of dark ambient, post rock and psychedelic – somewhere between Sigur Ros, Millenia Nova, Tortoise and Pink Floyd. The songs sound warm-hearted, though never strangely distant. Floating snapshots, a captured present, preserved for eternity.

„YYY“ brings together dense odd xylophone patterns with driving straight drum rhythms, and thanks to Moore’s feel for subtle moods it provides the right attention from the very beginning. Afterwards, it goes on quieter but not shallower. So in the title song picking guitars and a seemingly absent-minded vocal line generate a spherical, almost surreal atmosphere although the whole thing is written in 9/8 bar. And the thoughtful and sad “Pure Laughter” achieves an almost vague characteristic with background noises such as scratching. A bit more solid are ”Before You Started“ and ”Again Today“. The first one sounds as if one had put a Led Zeppelin acoustic song through the mill, while in the latter keyboards and vocals are openly flirting with a drum machine which was programmed in a complex 7/4 bar rhythm.

Kevin Moore, who lives in Istanbul for a year now, has let himself be inspired from the local music to work more often with odd bars. But in contrast to the past he now gives them a natural flow: “It’s fascinating how even Turkish pop music works with odd bars in a playful way and how the people there can dance to that music without problems.”

Latest Release

Chroma Key
Graveyard Mountain Home