Have a Cigar is the brainchild of Bree, Belgium based multi-instrumentalist and composer Marc Vliegen. A schooled musician who has been studying Classical music since age 9, Marc has developed his talents over the years writing and composing original music while building and honing his skills as a studio engineer and mastering engineer. While currently a teacher for producers and sound designers, Marc continues to release new music that showcase his masterful skills and diversity in music composition. Released in 2019 on McFly Records under his project's moniker Have a Cigar, Infinite is a fine compendium of all of Marc’s influences, knowledge, and applied talents. No two pieces on the album sound exactly the same, but it all comes together and fits perfectly under one vast umbrella as if it were a complete movie score with a consistent or recurring theme. The production and mix on the album is of impeccable quality and timbre - a fine display of Marc's audio engineering expertise that runs concurrent with his marvelous style of composition. One thing that makes Infinite a great listen is that no two tracks sound exactly alike. One notable highlight that stood out to me the most was “Agnus Dei” - a bluesy, drum heavy, guitar and synth driven piece heavily inspired by later Pink Floyd, early King Crimson, and a touch of Mike Oldfield for good measure. "Etna", the near 10 minute centerpiece of the album, is a mysterious yet alluring track that instantly hooked me with its eerie synths and whispered spoken word - Krautrock pioneers such as Kraftwerk and Vangelis delightfully spring to mind. "Let's Do It" is a New Age inspired piece where handclaps and tablas/bongos/hand drums serve as the rhythm of the beat under a gorgeous tapestry of pianos and synths that reminded me of artists such as Enigma.
Most impressive on the album, however, are the opening and closing numbers; "Infinite" and "A New Berth". The opening title track is an epic work in Modern Classical composition style, drawing in heavy inspiration from the likes of Richard Strauss, John Williams, and James Newton Howard. It's a fitting piece to serve as an overture for an adventurous, dangerous quest into uncharted territory. “A New Birth” has a distinctly cinematic, adventure film feel to it. Its abstract composition, key changes, dramatic climax, and contemplative ending that can work well in any adventure or science fiction film as a transitional piece or within an epilogue scene. Both of these works begin and end the bold artistic statement that is Infinite.
All in all, I highly recommend checking out this remarkable work of modern music composition. Enjoy while you're out for a walk, taking a cruise through the city on a bright night, or on an adventurous excursion through the countryside. In any case, you'll find not a dull moment on Have a Cigar's Infinite.