Impossible to find in the wild, KPM's Image is exactly that; this record paints extraordinary, hyper-vivid scenes with music, in the way only the library greats can. Originally released in 1974, Image is an absolutely stunning listen from start to finish, and arguably the most wanted KPM grail that's still not been reissued - until now! Just too good…
Worth the price of admission alone, and likely the reason you're all already drooling about this release, the mellow, dramatic beat of "Image", Brian Bennett's opener and title track, is a Jaylib-sampled firecracker. A reflective, scenic underscore which grows to full orchestra and ends as it begins - it's just beautiful. Next up, swoon to "The Little Orphan" by Neil Richardson featuring strings and harp. It's a deeply emotive, sweeping orchestral piece. Just straight gorgeous. It's followed by "Paradise Island", a lush, horizontal Balearic gem courtesy of Gordon Rees and David Gold; it'll send you into a blissful reverie with its elegant strings and gentle drums. From the same pair, "Forbidden Fruit" is, again, string-drenched but the strings are more insistent, stabbing even, and, with drums and Blaxploitation guitars high up in the mix, it's definitely a funkier proposition. "The Enchantress", again a Rees-Gold special, is a slower, groovy, synthy wonder. Closing out the A-Side, "Phenomena" is a mysterious gem, a Gold solo effort set at a breezier tempo with propulsive percussion and head nod, fast-paced breaks with ace keys.
Flip over for "Infinite Expanse", John Scott's dramatic panorama adorned with proud, triumphant horns. Scott's "Static Objects" paints patient, pastoral scenes; there's a serenity and stillness to the proceedings. Next up, Be With favourite John Fiddy delivers shifting shapes and patterns with his wonderful "Metamorphosis", all wah wah, harps, dramatic percussion and strings. It's by turns billowy and blasting. "Cubist Pictures" follows, Neil Richardson's brilliant nebulous, fragmentary piece. Better yet, Richardson's gorgeous, beatless "Analysis" follows, and it's an orchestral beauty featuring cello, harps and woodwind. It's no exaggeration to describe this as transcendental. His "Crystal Ball" presents more static scenes with cello, twinkling percussion and strings, before Steve Gray's fantastically-titled softly-ace "Gliding Through Clouds" closes out this remarkable set.
As with all of our KPM re-issues, the audio for Image comes from the original analogue tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. And as usual, the sleeve reproduction duties were handed over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM’s brand identity.