Jeff Mills - Woman In The Moon

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  • Jeff Mills has begun to strike a sage-like figure as he's moved away from clubland and into futurist philosophy and conceptual art projects. He's made installations based on the Manifesto Of Futurism for the Centre Pompidou in Paris and has written scores for choreography projects that play through speakers attached to the dancers' costumes. When he releases albums, they come with elaborate backstories. 2013's Jungle Planet arrived in a black cube that could have been inspired by the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Mad scientists play key roles in both of the Fritz Lang films for which Mills has produced alternative soundtracks. The Detroit artist has spoken about mankind's need to find natural resources on other planets, and it's this feeling that drives Professor Mannweldt, the protagonist of Woman In The Moon, to speculate about the existence of lunar gold reserves. Mills' soundtrack to Woman In The Moon comes in a traditional three-CD format, yet it still feels like some kind of alien music box. Designed as one continuous piece, with track titles that follow the film's narrative, it's full of plangent chimes, sonorous strings and intricately-detailed beats. Pulsing synth tones provide a radioactive glow. Working with orchestras like the Montpelier Philharmonic has clearly rubbed off on Mills. His Metropolis soundtrack was full of grinding industrial rhythms (which perfectly mirrored the factory scenes in the film), but here the only overtly techno moments are the segments for the rocket's take-off and crash landing. Elsewhere, Mills uses familiar cinematic tropes, such as swooping classical sections (the aural equivalent of the long panning shot) to evoke the scale of space, or quivering strings and rustling hi-hats for a Hitchcockian sense of suspense. That makes this soundtrack less groundbreaking than either Lang's film or Mills' own early tracks, but it still shows him to be a masterful artist who can no longer be confined to the box marked "techno."
  • Tracklist
      CD1 01. Credits 02. The Visitors 03. Ridiculed 05. The Drive Home 04. Striking Match And Idea 06. Arriving Home/Knocked Out 07. Thieves In The House 08. The Celebration 09. Mister Turner 10. The Presentation 11. The Launch Hour 12. Moon Rising CD2 01. Blast Off 02. The Hard Effects Of Adventure 03. The Journey Begins 04. Crossing Space 05. Deep Sleep Odyssey 06. Waking Up To A New Existence 07. A Life In Space 08. Behold, The Moon 09. No Way Back 10. Prepare For The Lunar Landing CD3 01. Crash Landing 02. Doorway To Destiny 03. The Consequences 04. The Search For Gold 05. Found By Loss And Greed 06. Tribulations Of Greed 07. Chaos And Fanatics 08. Hard Facts Of Life 09. Restitution And Resolve 10. The Woman – The Moon – The End