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Berberian Sound Studio Soundtrack

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, 7 Jan 2013
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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 Jan. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: WARP.
  • ASIN: B009Z1JIAI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  Vinyl |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,361 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

Product Description

Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio has emerged as one of the most critically acclaimed indie films of the year, gaining comparisons to the mastery of David Lynch and Francis Ford Coppola with Time Out saying the stylistically ambitious, morally radical, thematically complex work...deserves the highest praise . This turns out to also be an apt description of the film's sublime soundtrack, composed by Broadcast (aka Trish Keenan and James Cargill), before Trish's untimely passing last year.

Initially conceived as the soundtrack to The Equestrian Vortex, the film-within-a-film around which Berberian Sound Studio unfolds, it would eventually spill outwards to encapsulate the entire world Strickland had created and populated with eccentric, magnetic characters. On it's own, the music sets a sinister and atmospheric tone that still exists well within Broadcast's sonic universe.

The film's plot, which involves a British sound recordist's slowly degenerating mental state while working in an Italian film studio, has clearly been one driving force behind the music as has the work of pioneering Italian composers such as Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai. Working closely with Strickland as well as the film's supervising sound editor Joakim Sundstrom, Cargill wove in sound effects, screams and snatches of dialogue in order to bring elements of the film back into the soundtrack. The outcome is the rare piece of film music that not only enhances the visual, but exists on it's own as an independent work, and one that is an invaluable edition to Broadcast's inimitable history.

BBC Review

Berberian Sound Studio was one of the finest films of 2012. Released on a limited cinematic run last summer, it’s a psychological thriller/horror affair starring Toby Jones as a sound effects specialist who begins work in an Italian horror film studio on an amazingly titled (if slightly worrying) film called The Equestrian Vortex. And he soon starts to go a bit mad.

So far, so Broadcast, you may think. And you’d be right. Having created spooky soundtracks for imaginary films – check out their 2009 album, Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age – creating unnerving accompaniments comes easy to them.

Using wonky equipment, elderly electronics, spooky organs and creepy reverb, James Cargill – the one remaining member after Trish Keenan’s shocking early death in 2011 – has assembled a perfect soundtrack for the on-screen action. This was the couple’s final work together, although Cargill has said there is more unreleased Trish-featuring material, which may come out in the future.

At 39 tracks, it may seem a bit daunting, but much of these are tiny fragments of sounds and effects – The Serpent’s Semen is just eight seconds of screaming; Mark of The Devil and Found Scalded, Found Drowned unfold menacingly, brainwashing inside 45 seconds apiece; and at least half the tracks clock in around half a minute.

There’s a kid-in-a-sweetshop aspect to proceedings, as Cargill throws in everything to create a perfect spooky mood. Numbers such as The Sacred Marriage, the film-in-a-film title track of The Equestrian Vortex, Beautiful Hair and His World Is My Shed are suitably eerie vignettes to underscore the visual tenseness.

The two tracks that, by comparison, go on a bit – the floating creep-out of Teresa’s Song, and Lark of Ascension – could have been lifted from Dario Argento’s horror masterpiece of 1977, Suspiria. And closer Our Darkest Sabbath is actually quite gorgeous in a “Hello, you have a stalker” fashion.

Berberian Sound Studio and Broadcast are a perfect match, and this soundtrack – something you may not want to listen to alone if you keep hearing a weird noise outside the window – gives you an idea of how magnificent this band can be.

--Ian Wade

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