Various Artists: Nude Tuesday Soundtrack (digital outlets)

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Time of the Season, by Moniker w Reb Fountain
 Various Artists: Nude Tuesday Soundtrack (digital outlets)

The jury will always be divided over whether a soundtrack should be able to stand independent of the images it accompanies. And “soundtrack” has become a very flexible description.

Some are simply collections of songs (many already released) and so exist in the same world as any other compilation. We're thinking of everything from Footloose and Saturday Night Fever to Yesterday and Rocketman.

Then there are soundtracks where new music is created for a film or series: Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer etc etc

And there is also that problematic area of music which is more correctly described as “sound design”, that means the sounds and noises which run parallel with the images but are often just sonic distortion (as heard in many sci-fi or films set in some dystopian future). Many of these work well in the film to convey unease but as stand alone items are about as interesting as being inside an MRI scanner, all clanks, grinds, drones and rumbling.

Then there are soundtracks like this one which exist in some strange but enjoyable limbo. It's not necessary to have seen this local film – in which the dialogue is all gibberish with English-language subtitles – because here are familiar songs, Talking Heads' Road to Nowhere, the Zombies' Time of the Season, Kenny and Dolly's Islands in the Stream and so on but . . .

But they too are rendered in gibberish by Moniker (Conrad Wedde, Lukasz Buda and Sam Flynn Scott), Reb Fountain, American composer Cam Ballantyne and others.

First of all the songs themselves are crafted with an ear for replication of the originals (with some interesting variations) and so what you hear might just be lyrics in some central European or Scandinavian language. Or anywhere unfamiliar.

There is a swirling gypsy waltz instrumental and Jemaine Clement (who appears in the film as Bjorg) offers darkly delivered spoken-word gibberish. But the standout voice belongs to Fountain who sound entirely at home singing the covers in an alien tongue.

This is an enjoyable if minor entry in the catalogue of soundtracks and New Zealand music but in time to come you could bet that Elsewhere will occasionally pull up a track for our From the Vaults pages to the amusement and bewilderment of our readers.

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This album is available on all mainstream digital platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Tidal etc) 

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