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Music Review

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By Night


Artist: Maximilien Mathevon
Label: Plaza Mayor Company Ltd
Release Date: 09 February 2024

Maximilien Mathevon releases his new album via Plaza Mayor Company Ltd. A blend of electronic, jazz and orchestral influences, By Night explores the nocturnal world of our insomnia. It evokes those nights where the mind wanders in search of sleep, where we try by all means to thwart insomnia...

By Night is another intriguing album by composer Maximilien Mathevon. The thread that runs through this release is that of insomnia. However, while it's interesting that there is a running theme throughout the 9 tracks (41 min, 13 sec) it's not overly important if you don't focus on this as a project to be experienced from start to finish. This works just as well if you mix up the track list, although I did feel it felt more like a project when listened to in the order that Mathevon structured it.

Part electronic, part jazz and part orchestral, By Night envelops the listener in a reassuringly satisfying way. It's a comfortable, enjoyable collection of themes that you'll want to revisit time and time again.

The opening 'By Night' is an upbeat, jazzy track that really sets the tone for what is to come. 'Breath', an electronic piece, is a little more explorative and at times brought to mind the work of Vangelis. 'Movie' is an electronic orchestral piece that whirs around in your head. The trumpet section stands out here and at times there's a flavour of spy noir.

'Mesmerising' is exactly that. It's captivating and has a memorable theme at its core. 'Wandering' takes the pace down a little. This is a slow, meandering piece with a beautifully melancholic theme at its core. 'Fantasy' picks up the pace, with a catchy ticking beat and almost chase like mentality. 'Dialog' is another reflective track which floats wonderfully by. 'Aware' feels like it belongs in a spy thriller. It has a solid theme at its core, which builds to a crescendo. 'Goodnight' is the perfect closer. Another raspy jazzy, Vangelis-esque piece that rounds the album of perfectly.

I really enjoyed my time with By Night. While it subject matter is insomnia, I found this was a relaxing and chilled out album that I could easily fall asleep to.


Darren Rea

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