This is another favourite of mine. Max Richter is a German-born British composer who has worked with a broad range of artists such as Roni Size (on the In The Mode album), Future Sound Of London, he produced Vashti Bunyan's Lookaftering album, and has had his music featured in various tv programmes and films, such as Stranger Than Fiction and Shutter Island.
So while you have probably heard his music before, you might not know it.
Infra is his latest, and fifth, solo album. It starts of with morse code (I'm not sure what it says though) and some old radio sounds before a beautiful slow piece of music fades in and blossoms. This track reminds me slightly of Godspeed You Black Emperor or Mogway.
The second song continues with the radio noise, weaving a theme that continues throughout the album. Richter is keen on this fragmented style and is not the first time he has used such a technique. This song comes in with some piano but doesn't really go further than that. That said, it is a great track and actually doesn't need much else, sometimes less is more.
In fact, some of the piano on this album is just incredible. There seems to be quite an obvious influence of Philip Glass and I have to say that Max plays and writes every bit as well as Glass. There is so much beauty in his playing.
The tracks vary so much on this album but somehow stay on theme with the rest of the album. There are tracks that are not much more than hints at melody with noise and radios tuning in the background and then there are full on orchestral delights. For example, Journey 2 is one of the noise/slight melody tracks but it is followed by Infra 4, one of the most concise and well written tracks on the album, orchestral and completely emotional.
I don't know what you would tag Infra as, perhaps classical, neo-classical. I don't really care because it is just well written, emotion evoking, colourful, and mainly extremely good. I loved it the first time that I listened and, although you may not think you like classical music, you should give this album a try, while I wouldn't say this is 'entry level' at all, it could be a very good album to get in to this genre of music.
In my opinion, this is the best song on the album. It really reminds me of Philip Glass with the repeating theme played throughout but growing and growing until it explodes in to the climax. It blows me away every time.