Release: Last Man On Earth
Date: December 2nd, 2022
Mastered By: Martyn Heyne
Artwork By: Bader Klidi
Somehow I feel that all multimedia artists [and particularly, musicians] have always dealt with the concept of the “end of time” [myself included]. Whether it’s through the destruction of our planet, some unknown apocalypse, or the universe as we may never know it, post the inevitable human existence [it all will end, after all, right?]. These thoughts, and the resulting output, are then brought on by a blip in our own very linear timeline that makes us wake up for a moment from the cycle of being and ask, “Is this it?”. Perhaps a bit of existentialism never hurt anyone to refocus their energy on what truly then matters. [What truly matters to you?]. We’ve all experienced this, especially with our own latest global crisis, which still continues to ripple, mutate, and destroy, even as I type out these words [my friends in Shanghai are particularly distressed]. It’s no wonder that so much latest output from musicians across the globe has been reflecting this temporary state of humankind [just check out the themes of the many new posts on Headphone Commute, like this Requiem or We Will Live On]. So I’m not surprised, and indeed, a bit delighted, to be bathed in an expression of human extinction by the Montréal-based Tunisian composer, multi-instrumentalist and sound designer Haythem Mahbouli, with his second album for the Japanese Schole label, titled Last Man On Earth. This is a beautifully produced and orchestrated journey, which leaves me aching with memories of Jóhann Jóhannsson [and I do not just mention his name lightly], with its cinematic tendency to blend elements of electronic and modern classical genres, featuring synthetic and organic instrumentation, including a choir by the Budapest Scoring Orchestra. Today I’m giving you a taste of what you can experience on the entire album with this short track, titled “The Great Flood.”
Last Man On Earth is a concept album which musically illustrates humanity’s failure to preserve our planet and ultimately ourselves. It rockets us into the future of a hostile Earth wherein 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.
— Haythem Mahbouli
Mastered by Martyn Heyne the full album is due out tomorrow, December 2nd, via Schole, available on Bandcamp as a digital and a limited edition compact disc. Highly recommended!