London based composer Ian Williams has written the soundtrack to the new documentary film by French director Eric Michel, 'Les Blessures Invisibles' (Invisible Wounds), which investigates the consequences for the Gabonese town of Mounana of almost half a century of uranium mining. For many years the town had been the biggest supplier of uranium to the French nuclear industry, but in 1999 its mine was deemed no longer viable and the mining companies and their personnel withdrew. This left the infrastructure to fall into disrepair and the townspeople to face an uncertain future, with the after-effects of years of close contact with radioactive material not yet known. The Leftfield-ish tribal techno stomper 'URA 235’ has been released as a single ahead of the album. It is named after the works football team, derived from the name of the type of uranium mined in the town. It comes with a video made from footage not used in the film and features the current incarnation of the town’s team, renamed Académie Sport de Mounana since the closure of the mine. Training, match, pub, African-style! The album itself features not only the music used in the film, but also some written for footage that did not make the final edit. A lush orchestral/electronic hybrid, its contents span the pastoral Popol Vuh-like textures of the evocative opener ‘C’est pas d’aujourd’hui ces montagnes’ (translation: ‘As Old As The Mountains’), percussive workouts, the aforementioned ‘URA235’, several ambient yet highly musical interludes, before ending with the gorgeously sweeping, string-laden Preisner-esque epic, ‘Mounana'.
Photo: Damien de Blinkk