The Blue Notebooks (15th Anniversary Reissue)

The Blue Notebooks are an attempt for music to comment on society and exist as an anti-violence record. It is a subtle and peaceful protest against political, social and personal brutality. Originally written in 2003, the canon-defining masterpiece was radical at the time as one of the first to combine classical and electronic elements with a post rock sensibility. The Blue Notebooks include narrated texts taken from Franz Kafka’s ‘Blue Octavo Notebooks’ – whose title Max adapted for his suite in order to “…reflect on my sense of the politics of the time. Facts were beginning to be replaced by subjective assertions in the build-up to the Iraq war, which seemed to be viewed as inevitable and justified in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. Kafka’s use of the absurd to investigate power structures struck me as highly relevant. He is, of course, the patron saint of doubt, and doubt – about politics, and the way society was heading – was what I was looking to express. The texts were specifically picked because they refer to childhood, or the passing of time, when everything around is failing.” This is built into The Blue Notebooks’ very architecture. ‘‘On The Nature Of Daylight’ uses a palindromic structure, so the present and the past coexist.” This track has since become the album’s most prominent and best-known, most notably due to its pivotal inclusion in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island and more recently Denis Villeneuve’s award-winning winning film ‘Arrival’, whose palindromic narrative, ideas on non-linear time and blurred visions of experiences, matched Max’s music perfectly.