"Magical Moods of the Theremin"
Tru Blu Lu Records
was a time when the haunting sounds of the theremin was relegated mostly
to B-grade sci-fi or horror movies. It was the sound of the space ship
landing or the undead creature rising from the grave. As instruments go,
the theremin has always been seen as a novelty--a freak of the instrument
world. Its unworldly tone and ghostly voice have caused the instrument
to be marginalized, but throughout its history, it has found somewhat of
a home with lounge-type music. It was a perfect fit for the era of hi-fi
space age music. Take for example the classic early Les Baxter
album Music Out Of The Moon featuring the theremin mastery
of Dr. Samuel Hoffman. Nothing hints at the 1950's version
of outer space like the theremin. However, the theremin never found its
place within the world of "legitimate" music. The San Fransciso-based band
is trying to change that. They have exploited the potential of theremin
to create a wonderful smoky cocktail lounge vibe. In Magical Moods
of the Theremin, Project:Pimento takes the theremin
into the realm of bossa nova (with the tunes "Agua de Beber" and "Call
Me"), exotica ("Caravan" and "Bali Ha'i"), crime jazz (Peter Gunn), and
even rock ("Black Magic Woman"). Mixed with the theremin are the haunting
vocals of Miss Lola Bombay aka Lori Carsillo.
At times the theremin sings in harmony with the vocal. Other times it takes
center stage. Throughout the album, the theremin weaves in and out of each
melody giving new life to what could have been a stale set of standards.
But Magical Moods of the Theremin is not without flashes
of humor. The band opens up and seems to have a lot of fun with their version
of the Star Trek theme--complete with Gene Roddenberry’s
horrible lyrics. Overall, listeners will hardly believe the theremin could
be used to make such cool music. Project:Pimento has set
a new standard for theremin. Here's hoping their brand of theremin swankness
sticks around for a long, long time.
Here are some samples
from "Magical Moods of the Theremin": "Call
Me," "Star Trek,"
"Black Magic Woman,"
and "Bali Ha'i."
the Project:Pimento Website