Christina Vantzou – No. 1
Despite generally being known as half of the Adam Wiltzie-helmed audio-visual exploration The Dead Texan, it seems Christina Vantzou has been harbouring aspirations towards an understated brilliance of her own; her solo debut is filled with the kind of lush symphonies and gentle rushes of ambience that make the average Stars of the Lid performance seem like an exercise in exuberance. It’s beautifully controlled and quite, quite mesmerising.
Largely string-oriented, with shades of brass and symphonics for emphasis, each composition rises and swells seemingly endlessly, evoking moments of cinematic redolence more readily than her collaborations often have. 11:11 could be seamlessly laid over the shots of the first sight of Jurassic Park with equal splendour, and the unnervingly intense Prelude for Juan stands as the soundtrack for the eeriest ghost story never put to celluloid. It’s ten movies played out in half the time it takes to watch one, so this wins on value alone.