James Blackshaw
Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat (2014)

James Blackshaw — Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat (July 8, 2014)

 James Blackshaw — Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat 
χχ   English musician initially garnered attention in 2004 for his mastery of the 12-string guitar.
Born: 1981 in London, England
Location: Hastings, England, UK
Genre: Avant-Garde, Stage & Screen, Pop/Rock
Styles: Modern Composition, Original Score, Soundtracks
Album release: July 8, 2014
Record Label: Tompkins Square
Duration:     74:26
01 Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat, Pt. 1     6:30 
02 Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat, Pt. 2     4:39 
03 Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat, Pt. 3     8:24 
04 Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat, Pt. 4     4:50 
05 Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat, Pt. 5     2:48 
06 Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat, Pt. 6     6:13 
07 Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat, Pt. 7     4:15 
08 Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat, Pt. 8     10:22 
09 Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat, Pt. 9     5:48 
10 Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat, Pt. 10     4:45 
11 Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat, Pt. 11     6:35 
12 Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat, Pt. 12     4:43 
13 Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat, Pt. 13     4:34
Written by:
χχ   James Blackshaw 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13
χχ   Duane Pitre 11
χχ   James Blackshaw / Charlotte Glasson / Duane Pitre 3, 8
Album Moods: Ambitious Atmospheric Complex Confident Dramatic Dreamy Earnest Energetic Exciting Hypnotic Intense Intimate Literate Lively Poignant Refined Rousing Brooding Elegant Ethereal Fantastic/Fantasy-like Flowing Mysterious Ominous Powerful Searching Sprawling Strong Suspenseful Theatrical Thrilling Turbulent Unsettling Warm
χχ   James Blackshaw  Arranger, Composer, Guitar (Nylon String), Piano (Grand)
χχ   Charlotte Glasson  Arranger, Composer, Flute, Sax (Alto), Vibraphone, Violin
χχ   Ania Goszcynska  Artwork
χχ   Hartmut Homolka  Recording Director
Duane Pitre  6-String Electric Bass, Arranger, Bowed Cymbals, Composer, Guitar, Guitar (Electric), Synthesizer, Vibraphone
χχ   Thomas Schmölz  Recording Director
χχ   Simon Scott  Arranger, Drums, Electronics, Vocals
χχ   Stéphane Teynié  Recording Director
Review by Thom Jurek; Score: ****
χχ   Director Louis Feuillade’s 1913 five-part silent film serial Fantômas is one of the most beloved entries in French cinema. Centering on the antihero of the title, each film commences with a recap of the previous film, is divided into multiple chapters, and usually ends with suspense.
χχ   The films were based on novels by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre (they ended up writing 32 in all) — further episodes were adapted by French filmmakers later in the 20th century, but none are as well-made or beloved as Feuillade’s. Composer Yann Tiersen was invited to curate performed scores to accompany the screening of these films, in celebration of their centenary. He did one and chose Tim Hecker, Loney Dear, Amiina, and James Blackshaw for the rest.
χχ   Blackshaw’s was for the final film, Le Faux Magistrat. The performance took place on Halloween. Though he has established his reputation as an acoustic guitarist, it is his skill as a composer that is foremost here. Playing nylon-string guitar and piano, he is accompanied by electro-acoustic composer and sound installation artist Duane Pitre; drummer and sound designer Simon Scott (of Slowdive); and Charlotte Glasson on violin, reeds, winds, and vibraphone. Seventy-five minutes in length, one section seamlessly flows into the next. This ambitious affair is introduced by a brooding piano in “Pt. 1,” later joined by repetitive, almost minimalist violin and sonic effects in a slow, suspenseful waltz. Tom-toms, lower-register piano lines, and a wailing alto saxophone add a jazz noir feel to “Pt. 2.” On “Pt. 4,” Blackshaw pairs his guitar with a bassline and skeletal but noisy ambience. When the strings and brushed snare and vibes enter, the piece suggests harmonic extension, but though there is drama, it remains thematically tethered. The sublime interplay between flute and guitar on “Pt. 7″ gives way to a unsettling, near rockist dissonance comprising electronics, bass, vibes, and drums in the subsequent section. The chiming E-Bow guitar on “Pt. 11″ is underscored by processional drumming, middle-register piano, and tempered feedback. The elliptical strings that commence “Pt. 12″ are gradually adorned with wonderfully unsettling sound design, creating a tension that is eventually replaced by an increased tempo, percussive aggression, minor-key modalism, and a snaky near-wailing alto in “Pt. 13.” χχ   It suggests a cliffhanger for a finale, but concludes with a crash, followed by a near whisper. On 2009′s Glass Bead Game, we heard bits and pieces that suggested Blackshaw was capable of a more expansive work, but nothing that hinted at the exquisite juxtaposition of tension, texture, tone, and harmonic color that Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat delivers.
Artist Biography by Steve Leggett
χχ   A brilliant and innovative 12-string guitar player, James Blackshaw was born in 1981 in London, where he continues to make his home. Another in a long string of amazing British acoustic guitar wizards, Blackshaw has been compared at various times to Bert Jansch, Davy Graham, Robbie Basho, John Fahey, Glenn Jones, Jack Rose, and Leo Kottke, among others, but his sound, often modal and based on improvising across set themes, is entirely his own. Blackshaw released several limited CD-R albums as he began his career, including 2004's Celeste and Lost Prayers and Motionless Dancers, 2005's Sunshrine, and the live Waking into Sleep in 2006. Important Records issued O True Believers in 2006, after which Blackshaw moved to Tompkins Square Records, which released The Cloud of Unknowing in 2007 and began reissuing his black catalog (Celeste and Sunshrine both reappeared from Tompkins Square in 2008). A second Tompkins Square CD of new material, Litany of Echoes, was also issued in 2008.
Released in 2010, All Is Falling featured Blackshaw working in the studio with electric 12-string guitar for the first time. Love Is the Plan, the Plan Is Death was released on Important in 2012. It featured Blackshaw playing nylon-string guitar, piano, Hammond B-3 organ, and vibraphone. In early 2013, he collaborated with pianist and composer Lubomyr Melnyk on the album Watchers. Later that year, he was invited by Yann Tiersen to celebrate the centenary of Louis Feuillade's silent film series Fantômas. His composed a score for Le Faux Magistrat, the fifth and final film in the series, which was performed and recorded at the Théâtre de Châtelet in Paris on Halloween. Blackshaw performed the 75-minute work with guests including drummer Simon Scott (Slowdive). χχ   It was released commercially by Tompkins Square in July of 2014.
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EbNDlPg_9Q#t=40
Website: http://www.jamesblackshaw.com/
MySpace: https://myspace.com/jamesblackshaw
Tumblr: http://jamesblackshaw.tumblr.com/                                                                         / Also:
By ERIC WILLIGER; Score: ****
:: http://www.tinymixtapes.com/music-review/james-blackshaw-fantomas-le-faux-magistrat


Apologia CD (Self Released) 2003
Celeste CD (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon) 2004 and (Tompkins Square) 2008
Lost Prayers and Motionless Dances CD (Digitalis Industries) 2004 and (Tompkins Square) 2008
CD (Digitalis Industries) 2005 and (Tompkins Square) 2008
O True Believers LP (Bo'weavil Records) & CD (Important Records) 2006
Waking Into Sleep — Goteburg 27.05.06 Live recording, CD (Kning Disk) 2006
The Cloud of Unknowing
CD/LP (Tompkins Square) 2007
Litany of Echoes CD (Tompkins Square) 2008
The Glass Bead Game CD (Young God Records) 2009
All is Falling CD/LP (Young God Records) 2010
Holly EP LP (Important Records) 2011
Love is the Plan, the Plan is Death LP (Important Records) 2012
Compilations, collaborations, split releases and guest appearances:
Davenport Vs. James Blackshaw CD-R with Davenport (Static Records) 2005
Gold Leaf Branches 3xCD (Digitalis Industries) 2005
Sunshrine / Celeste LP (Bo'Weavil Recordings) 2005
Imaginational Anthem Vol. 2 CD (Tompkins Square) 2006
A Raga For Peter Walker CD (Tompkins Square) 2006
The Garden of Forking Paths — a compilation CD curated and featuring music by James Blackshaw, Chieko Mori, Jozef van Wissem and Helena Espvall. Artwork by Hanna Tuulikki CD (Important Records) 2008
Brethren of the Free Spirit (duo with Jozef van Wissem) — All Things Are From Him, Through Him and In Him CD/LP (audioMER) 2008
Brethren of the Free Spirit — The Wolf Also Shall Dwell With The Lamb CD/LP (Important) 2009
Current 93 —
Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain CD (Durtro/Jnana) 2009
Sailors With Wax Wings — Sailors With Wax Wings CD 2010
Myrninerest — “JHONN,” UTTERED BABYLON CD 2012


James Blackshaw
Fantômas: Le Faux Magistrat (2014)