ORGAN THING: Haythem Mahbouli’s Last Man on Earth, a beautifully bleak album, a piece of modern classical futurism…


Monday morning Organ Thing of The Day, the single “Last Man On Earth” by Haythem Mahbouli is now available. it is rather beautiful single, a rather melancholic piece of music on this grey Monday Morning in cold wet London, the Monday after the non event that was the ending of Cop 27 yesterday, when turning on the World Cup later on today is only to see if England take the knee or make any kind of protest against repression of people both in Qatar or Iran, of course the World Cup should not be happening, it shouldn’t be happening in Qatar, the carbon footprint suggests it should not be happening anywhere, football, a beautiful game that means so much to so many distastefully corrupted beyond consumption. Meanwhile there’s a photograph on social media of a musician friend of mine sitting in his London flat hat coat and scarf on because he’s afraid of the cost of turning on the heating and I’m thinking about the art I need to make this week ahead of the Art Car Boot Fair, art I need to sell to pay my bills, art that people don’t really need or probably can’t afford. The subject matter of this release, this new album is bleak, it is a rather majestic piece of music on this cold wet Monday morning though, too wet to paint outside, too dark to paint inside. This album is rather beautiful, it is rather graceful, fair to say that the single is typical of the rest of the “Last Man on Earth”  

The single is taken from the second album also named “Last Man On Earth” by the Tunisian composer, multi-instrumentalist and sound designer (based in Montréal) Haythem Mahbouli. The album will be released on December 2nd 2022 (CD & Digital) on Japanese label Schole Records (Akira Kosemura, Quentin Sirjacq, Tim Linghaus..).


We’re told that  “Last Man On Earth” is a concept album, that  “the recording rockets us into the future of a hostile Earth where in humanity itself faces extinction. The album envisions man’s final journey on our home planet and invites its listeners to immerse themselves into his last harrowing conquest. The end track scores the final days of the only surviving man on Earth. He is sick, he is breathless, but he captures a final message for the future, if there is one. His words are the last ever spoken”.

Composed, orchestrated, produced and mixed by Haythem Mahbouli, the artist also  played piano and synth parts as well as electronics whereas the beautiful strings & choir have been recorded in Budapest with The Budapest Scoring Orchestra. “The result may recall some musical influences of the artist from Arvo Pärt, Johann Johannsson, Brian Eno or Sigur Ros to original score but is before anything else a singular and stunning concept album”.

“Would you like to review the album and share the first single?” asks the person who sent in the e.mail. Well once again do we need to? You have a taste of the music in the form of the single, the rest of the rather soothing album, goes along at the same pace, the same tone, the same gracefully moving almost merciful release from it all. It is a little more that that a soundtrack to a non-existent film, it is a little more than just another melancholic composer (we do get a lot of melancholic slightly symphonic composition), it is rather beautiful    

“With a Heavy Rock and Metal background in his teenage years, Haythem Mahbouli decided to broaden his horizon with his first solo album “Catching Moments in Time” between modern classical and  ambient and released in 2019. The Composer oscillates between the world of classical music to theatrical sound design. From simple notes on a piano to full orchestral composition, his music is meant to be experienced, with the aim to evoke a transcendental voyage into the listener’s psyche. He is now back with his second full length“Last Man On Earth”. Haythem Mahbouli describes ” Last Man On Earth” as a concept album which musically illustrates humanity’s failure to preserve our planet and ultimately ourselves”

We are swamped, we are receiving way way too much music now, it is impossible to keep up, we are getting quite a lot of what you might loosely term modern classical music, and yes, this is rather bleak on a Monday morning, it does stand out though, it is, whatever the mood, rather beautiful, it is a slowly evolving, a slowly moving rather graceful piece of art, and thankfully it (the album) does resist the temptation to get all big and epic and post rock on us, it never does get that obvious, it is rather good, I like that Haythem Mahbouli was brave enough to not take the Sigur Ros option and that it does all just quietly end, rather like this album, this piece…    

Details and more via Bandcamp


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