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British Sea Power rescores 1934 film 'Man of Aran'

June 9, 2009 |  6:01 pm

The 1934 docudrama “Man of Aran,” from American filmmaker Robert J. Flaherty, is a stern gruel of black and white, but it's not without its absurd moments. Life on the craggy Aran Islands of Ireland isn’t easy, but it looks appealingly pure from a distance, with all the fishermen decked out in wide, floppy berets with fuzzy bobbles on top. And though there doesn’t seem to be much in common between kids who fish off cliffs with loops of rope and a set of English rockers who lead a presumably more comfortable life, the stoic band British Sea Power taps into Aran with its controlled but sometimes explosive new soundtrack, out today on Rough Trade. Like the tough but foamy waves of the Atlantic that constantly batter and wash the flinty islands, British Sea Power’s “Man of Aran” is recommended for fans of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and other soaring fare. Check out the opening track posted above for a glimpse of the BSP's sumptuous dynamics.

-- Margaret Wappler