Nyx Nótt Themes From…

Melodic Records
2nd December 2022

Format Info

With a Monorail Exclusive 'Nyx Nótt Pub Quiz' mix CD
Milky Clear Indies Only LP
With a Monorail Exclusive 'Nyx Nótt Pub Quiz' mix CD.

With a Monorail Exclusive ‘Nyx Nótt Pub Quiz’ mix CD featuring a mix of classic TV themes and ads.

“The plan was to make twenty 90-second tracks designed as TV themes,” says Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat, of the initial thought behind his new instrumental album as Nyx Nótt “But it wasn’t a satisfying listen, it was too gimmicky and silly.”

So instead, Moffat decided to stretch the idea out, plunge deeper, and expand the music into full tracks, “making some of them quite long and dramatic, with the odd swift turn here and there.” In fleshing these tracks out into more fully realised songs he began sourcing samples from professional TV and film music libraries. “The focus then turned to making a proper album out of these modern library sounds,” he says. “I decided to stick with the Themes From title and named the tracks after the sorts of shows they made me think of when I listened back.”

The result is a record that explores genre themes such as: ‘Thriller, ‘Porno’, ‘Caper’ and Swashbuckler’, and acts as an audio equivalent of channel hopping through a unique TV station programmed by Moffat. “I still wasn’t sure about all this until I did the album cover, which brought it all together,” he says, of the artwork that places an old smashed TV unit front and centre with a woman perched on top. “It has echoes of old TV compilations but is pretty cheeky and slightly sexy in that old 70s compilation style. I wanted this one to look a bit more fun than the last one, as well as hopefully sound a bit more fun too.”

Aside from being a fun experience, it is also a stirring and immersive listen, one that allows the listener to imagine their own accompanying visual scenarios to each musical theme. The opening ‘Docudrama’ marries a gently creeping beat with strings that glide from tense to sweeping, while ‘Porno’ is all seedy smoky jazz that feels plucked right out of Travis Bickle’s late night trips to porn cinemas in Taxi Driver.

Touches of jazz pop up in other places too, on ‘Hardboiled’ this merges with subtle pulses and gargles of electronics that build to a rousing crescendo of horns and bleeps, and on ‘Caper’ there’s a vivacious full jazz band skip to the lively swinging rhythms. “There’s a few more jazzy elements here,” Moffat says. “Although I’m not quite sure where that came from. Although, like everyone else, I’ve had plenty of time to be introspective recently, so I decided the next Nyx Nótt album should be more upbeat and encourage some occasional foot-tapping.”