- Jackanory is a television programme most British readers of a certain age will be familiar with. Actors would recount fairy tales in a comforting bedtime-story manner in a bid to encourage kids to read more. For me at least, it invokes nostalgia of magic and fantasy, a feeling I also get when listening to Paolo di Nola's music—the best soundtrack Jackanory never had. The Italian producer has been working in music for over 20 years, yet he manages to retain an essence of childlike naivety when he records. Last year's "Rat's Poem" was a sublime ode to the imagination of a 13 year-old; this latest effort—looser, more delicate, no less beautiful—seems to draw on even older memories, perhaps an imagined recollection of womblike innocence.
That would sound horribly pretentious if it weren't grounded in at least one musical affirmation: the mistakable sound of a heartbeat. The PR and track title might lobby for the sound of locomotion, but I fail to hear anything other than a throb through the stethoscope guiding a kaleidoscopic tour of primary tones. Harmonies seem to discover themselves as casually as red spilling into blue to become magenta all at the somnolent pace of a lullaby under the Calder mobile. At least di Nola and I can agree on the "Zen" part.
From cradle to club, Dinky and Matthew Styles find their Zen in a moment of shutter-hoisting house. As Jealous Heart, they build from bleeps, bass and metal crashes into a sunshine melody with the lightest of touches, capturing the feel and inviting it to dance. Another impression is offered by Japanese composer, Keiichi Sugimoto, whose modest and understated rendering appears to take cues from William Orbit. The sound of a reel rewound cuts through a restrained ensemble of tones like a cine-cam jogged back through buried memories...perhaps of that train journey I neglect to recall.
A Zen Locomotive
B1 Zen Locomotive (Jealous Heart Remix)
B2 Zen Locomotive (Fifla Remix)