Coming Down was a 1997 movie by Matt Winn, about a group of friends hanging out after a night of hard clubbing. The soundtrack is by the British electronic musician D-Note, which is what this review is about. (I never saw the movie.)
I first heard the record in a small record shop in London back in about 1998. I was captivated by the sound, asked the assistant what it was, and bought it immediately. It is one of the few pieces of pure electronic music that I have listened to regularly over the years (though to be fair I am hardly an aficionado of the genre).
I have wondered what it is about it that I like so much. There are a lot of passages that sound quite ambient and spacey without being too repetitive or boring, creative use of arpeggios, polyrhythms and soundscapes and some pretty decent grooves. He uses the various instruments at his disposal really well, sometimes layering them together in quite clever and non-obvious ways. Electric pianos and strings feature heavily. Percussion and backbeats change subtly, clever crossfades between slightly different loops create a constant impression of movement. There are occasional passages of almost-silence, quiet sections that make you listen. It's not a long album (7 tracks, about 35 minutes) but it really does lend itself to being actively listened to, rather than used as background filler. For me this is one of the hallmarks of really good music.
It is mostly quite medium tempo, and fairly mellow in feel - so listening at home doesn't produce the slightly nerve-jangling effect that much dance music gives me. As an album, it really works, despite being purely instrumental. This is because each piece has a very distinct feel, and there are strong melodies everywhere. Somehow, there is a definite sense of progression from tune to tune.
Funnily enough, I don't think I have ever met anyone else who is a fan of Coming Down - so I get the added buzz of feeling quite the mover-and-shaker by talking about it.
Thanks to the excellent D-Note for Coming Down, which will probably continue to give me pleasure for many years to come.