A lush dreamscape
When most people think of music that they might describe as experimental their mind naturally shifts towards chaos. Genres like free jazz and noise music readily spring to mind, but experimental is not only about the palate of sounds used, but rather the way in which those sounds are deployed. SQÜRL, by all accounts, operates within a fairly standard realm of sounds used, but on Some Music for Robby Müller, they deploy their guitars in unexpected ways to create an emotionally poignant soundscape.
After having worked in the film score business over a few projects, SQÜRL has picked up a few tricks when it comes to emotional manipulation through music. This experience is evident on each and every one of the tracks throughout this album, and it provides a powerful backing to the documentary film Living the Light – Robby Müller directed by Claire Pijman.
Unlike other film scores, Some Music for Robby Müller actually stands on its own as a record. “In A Lonely Place” is particularly affecting and you can practically picture yourself within a scene of your own imagining. Of all the tracks on the record, it possesses the most menace, but that doesn’t mean it is the only track worth engaging with. “Magic Hour” is a particularly lovely track, one that truly lives up to its name, painting the picture of a golden evening in a field of grass. The reverberating acoustic guitars and twinkling mallet instruments make for a joyous textural journey.
This whole record, despite its limited runtime, leaves a lasting impression. It is perfect for a variety of scenarios but may end up lending itself best towards meditation and intentional introspection. With Some Music for Robby Müller, SQÜRL has created a masterful record that is hands-off enough to let the mind wander but plays with enough intentionality to steer you in the right direction. It is a stellar soundtrack that is far more than just the picture it sits behind and should be lauded as such.