What better place to create the ultimate driving album than Los Angeles, where Brian Reitzell lives and works? You might not immediately recognize his name, but you’ll certainly have stumbled across at least one corner of his massive portfolio, whether as the drummer in Redd Kross and Air, or as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after music supervisors and composers. In the past couple of years, he’s worked on Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land, the television series Hannibal and Boss, the mind blowing new video game Watch Dogs; he’s scored Elizabeth Price’s video installation West Hinder, and has collaborated with Oneohtrix Point Never on various scores. Brian has turned music supervision into a creative practice (he thinks of himself as a ‘music conceptualist’), not only using his impeccable music taste to select more eclectic and adventurous cuts than you normally hear on screen, but also commissioning and producing new music from some of rock and pop’s most reticent geniuses. He persuaded My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields out of obscurity for Lost In Translation and secretly commissioned new music from Mark Hollis, the reclusive former singer of Talk Talk, for a snippet of which was used on Boss.
Auto Music – Reitzell’s first solo release – began as a series of private recordings made at his studio to test out techniques and explore textures and sounds. He screened DVDs in his studio while making the album, so each track has a specific visual key, such as Spanish 70s art film Spirit Of The Beehive or the early pre-Fantasia animations of Oskar Fischinger. “I wasn’t making a pop record,“ Brian says, “I was experimenting with sounds to further my knowledge for creating music for my film projects and exploring new ways to make music.”
The end results are far from dry experimentalism – instead they’re a marvelous evocation of coasting along California’s freeways, reveling in the blissful sensation of forward motion. “I wanted to make music that felt like my drive from my house to my studio – roughly six miles. I liked the structure of the drive: never repeating, unless I forgot something at home and had to go back! It was sort of like ‘event music’ where little things come into view and then another one takes its place as you drive past.”
Brian Reitzell’s Auto Music is out June 10th on Smalltown Supersound. Listen below to “Last Summer,” the album’s opening track inspired by a conversation with Kevin Shields, who also plays organ on the track.
Personnel on Auto Music:
Roger J. Manning Jr.
Auto Music Tracklisting:
1. Last Summer
2. Ozu Choral
5. Auto Music 1
9. Auto Music 2