Released on Eastern Developments in 2003, this really should have been one of the first posts on this blog. I love this album, and it is a unique and totally under-appreciated gem. A duo, Kopernik (follow this link for better words than mine) have released nothing since, which is a terrible shame.
This falls somewhere between soundtrack, post rock, ambient and modern classical. Dominated by sonourously bowed bass and shimmering string arrangements, it's a brilliantly recorded and engineered album. Wisps of backwards samples, carefully used vocal snippets of voice and choir and assorted acoustic instruments are all used to perfectly augment the themes. The opener 'Ondoyant Et Divers' encapsulates the sound - a simple and beautiful plucked bass line over some backwards pulsing, then what sounds like a woodwind ensemble swells as the bass switches to bowed, and the piece gradually drifts into a glorious peace. The style is gloriously simple, although 'Man, Myth and Magic' begins with oriental flourishes, what sounds like a dulcimer, and the kind of proggy bass work heard on Eno's mid 70s rock albums, although this gives way to a wonder-filled string arrangement. There are light Eastern influences throughout, melodically; but like the electronic sound manipulation, they are always understated.
I don't really know what these chaps have been up to in the interim - I just look out for a new Kopernik album. Hopefully they are getting tons of soundtrack, or at least engineering/production work that they clearly have the talent for. I actually bought this on cd as well as LP, because I wanted to preserve my LP. It's a magnificent album.