Michael Mantler always surprised with unconventional projects, as for example his work in an orchestral context on Something There or his more intimate compositions to the words of Samuel Beckett, Edward Gorey or Harold Pinter. Here, Mantler comes up with something unexpected. This recording comes in the duo format with ex-Mother of Invention keyboard player Don Preston.
Alien sounds like the score for an imaginary movie – the music is of a mostly dark and lyrical character. Michael Mantler's immaculate trumpet playing unfolds over a startling variety of synthesizer sounds, thoughtfully layered by Don Preston. The music appears beyond categories – jazz, rock, contemporary avant-garde – all let aside in favour of strong musical tmagery.