Twilight Archive

Jazzy, cinematic grooves can sound stifled when they meet electronica, but not in these hands. Twilight Archive makes twilight music that’s tuneful enough for any time of day and smart enough to appeal to listeners well beyond genre boundaries.

artist:
Twilight Archive

country of origin:
USA

style(s):
Cinematic, trip hop, lounge, nu jazz

decades active:
00's - 10's

essential releases:

  • Twilight Archive (2003, Electrophonogram)
  • Ritual Fiction (2008, Electrophonogram)
  • Mood Chain (2015, Electrophonogram)

Reviewed by Mike G

Whether it’s fair or not, when I think jazzy cinematic mood music I instantly think of Angelo Badalamenti’s score for the original 90's TV drama Twin Peaks in all its lush, seedy, bittersweet glory. This is a Los Angeles duo Twilight Archive's territory. Their generally melodic music often has that familar shimmering sound and ambivalent mood, even though it sounds more urban and paints a more diverse selection of scenes. The blend of Fender Rhodes keys, muted trumpets, shuffling drum brushes and electronic textures instantly take you into a world of dark  alleys, dimly lit bars, empty cityscapes and mysteries in the shadows.

Their three albums to date are all standouts, though the differences between them are fairly marginal. Their self-tiled 2003 debut flirts the most with abstraction and dissonance and is their darkest work. The second album Ritual Fiction (2008) irons out some rough edges and some of its cuts compare with the very best of Thievery Corporation's liquid urban lounge. Mood Chain (2015) is their best to date and highlights how far they have come in integrating live performance with precise, metronomic electronics. Their hybrid sound is crafted with tremendous skill, so that a piece like “Sense Making Stops” segues between smokey soundtrack jazz and loopy Massive Attack-style drum breaks without you even noticing. “Unfamiliar Shadows” is another outstanding example, throwing in bits of whistling Minimoog to great effect.

Jazzy, cinematic grooves can sound stifled when they meet electronica, but not in these hands. Twilight Archive makes twilight music that’s tuneful enough for any time of day and smart enough to appeal to listeners well beyond genre boundaries.

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