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Robert Reed: Sanctuary

Reed presents new skin for the Oldfield ceremony.

If a film director makes a tasteful, respectful, pitch-perfect Hitchcock homage, everyone’s impressed. Music has different rules. As many will scorn Reed’s Mike Oldfield obsession as will praise it.

This immersive celebration of Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn is a labour of devotion and a display of dazzling proficiency. The Magenta/Kompendium man plays everything (on real, period-specific instruments) – yes, including glockenspiel and tubular bells – bar the voices, which come from Synergy Vocals (who’ve worked with Philip Glass and Steve Reich).

It’s a strange, melancholy creation, the melodies, moods and sequences building just as you’d want them to should Oldfield (in a parallel dimension) revisit this style himself. It shouldn’t be so affecting, but it is. If you like this sorta thing.

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.