Lebanese musician Marc Codsi is best known via his rock band Scrambled Eggs, as well as Lumi, and Zalfa, though also his soundtrack work for films like Je Veux Voir and Beirut Hotel with Zeid Hamdan. He even has a film credit as ‘guitarist’ in Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive.
Songs From The Aftermath is his fifth album, a synth based work that as the liner notes say continues his ‘“exploration of Arabic music codes, mainly investigating quarter tones scales in an fully electronic environment in order to create new harmonies and textures.” And there’s definitely an Arabic influence to some of the pieces, though also so much more. There’s a real inventiveness when you consider the diversity of approaches here. His scoring work is readily apparent, not only in the way the album is sequenced and the desire for different textures, but also in his clear focus on eliciting emotions and evoking a mood that contrasts between his pieces. There are sweeping spacey heavily sequenced Blade Runneresque tracks alongside more mournful moments of sweet contemplation vaguely reminiscent of Warp mainstays Plone, peaceful near ambient works, or even these strange almost indefinable murky low key loops of electronic sound. The cadences in particular vary dramatically between pieces. Yet it all feels like him.
The point is that Codsi isn’t doing just one thing. It’s clear that he has a wide breadth of musical and genre knowledge and possesses a distinctive ability to create evocative highly immersive electronic music. The surprise is that these 8 pieces clock in at a mere 35 minutes, as Codsi crafts these unhurried songs that feel like they have all the time in the world, that evolve slowly in plenty of space. It turns out that all of this space occurs somewhere between two and a half minutes and just over six minutes – which is impressive in itself. It highlights that each piece is a world unto itself, transportative and transformative music that slows time and drags you in.