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The Blackheart Orchestra reboot their back catalogue on instrumental album Mute

Chrissy Mostyn and Rick Pilkington from The Blackheart Orchestra 2021
(Image credit: The Blackheart Orchestra)

The Blackheart Orchestra will release Mute on May 7. Designed as a stopgap while lockdown prevented progress on their “proper” sixth LP, the 11-track album features reboots of older material, with greater experimentation than ever before and a widened range of timbres and dynamics – but the complete absence of vocals.

The project began when the duo – who have previously toured with Hawkwind – were asked to prepare instrumental versions with the idea of chasing movie soundtrack placements.

“We thought, ‘Let’s just do it as a fan release’,” lead vocalist Chrissy Mostyn says. “We don’t want to confuse people into thinking this is what we’re going to do from now on, because it’s not. But when we listened to what we’d done, changing things so much, we realised it had taken on its own life. The music is so different. I think people need more instrumental music in their lives – I do!”

Rick Pilkington adds: “We’re a bit scared of it – I still don’t even recognise some of the songs! We’re still worried that people won’t understand it. It’s a visit to an alternative universe; it was an important building block in the bridge to get out of lockdown, but we won’t be going back there again.”

Meanwhile, The Blackheart Orchestra are working on the direct follow-up to 2019’s Mesmeranto, with all songs written and several of them already recorded. “It was going so well, then we had to stop,” Mostyn says. “We think we know what it’s called… but it’ll probably change!” 

Mute is available to pre-order via Bandcamp.