Originally written in 2003 ‘The Blue Notebooks’ is now a cult classic that’s paved the way for a generation of new artists combining classical and electronic elements with a post rock sensibility. Conceptually, Max describes the album as “a meditation on violence and its repercussions, inspired both by the Iraq war – which was looming – and my own experiences”. The album is also intimately personal and Richter recalls that, “as a very sensitive child, I reacted to the violence around me by internalizing everything. My only refuge was music, and I totally disappeared into the internal landscapes it opened up to me.”
The album embodies a morphing cycle of observation and experience. The bonus material matches the main album in ability to evoke, and whether heard in its original or expanded incarnations, it makes for a record of plaintive beauty, where rich organic strings meet gauzy, low fi electronics. Sense-stimulating textures, foley-style found sounds and the ASMR-like detailed capture of actress Tilda Swinton’s renditions create a deeply effective ambience.
The new editions of the album include remixes from Konx-Om-Pax and Jlin – both of which offer a fascinating cultural exchange. Other new features include a previously unreleased track and new arrangements of compositions written at the time. The Super Deluxe Edition also features a brand new track called ‘Cypher’.