Graham Reid | | 1 min read
This electronica-cum-contemporary art music continues the association New York-based composer OPN (aka Daniel Lopatin to his parents) has had with movies. But this aurally scouring soundtrack won best of the year at the recent Cannes Film Festival so we should pay serious attention.
And as a piece of brutal sound design, staggeringly abrasive electronica (he cites Tangerine Dream as influential but Tangerine Nightmare might be more apt) and industrial noise with voice samples from the soundtrack, these instrumental certainly make . . . umm, an impression?
Without knowing the movie it supported, you can probably guess that it is a high-end crime drama where bad things happen to bad people – titles of the pieces include Bail Bonds, 6th Floor, Hospital Escape, Flashback and The Acid Hits – and the toxic nature of the film determines these ear-assaults, evocations and widescreen synth sounds which will test your emotional tensile strength.
Needless to say it is utterly persuasive, although some may feel you have to have been a serving member of the armed forces to take it on.
The good news is that the emotional arc of the film starts at rock bottom then seems to tunnel deep before blinking into the light with the gentle electro-pop minimalism of Leaving the Park (Ah, at last Tangerine Dream/Edgar Froese!) and Connie at the end.
The final track is The Pure and The Damned in which guest vocalist Iggy Pop goes right back to his Berlin in the Seventies for a beautifully dark, speak-sing “piano ballad” which is an extremely disturbing denouement.
But it sounds absolutely right: “The pure always act from love, the damned always act from love . . .”
This isn't easy but by the end -- and that astonishingly moving Iggy piece is full of resignation and the acceptance of the finality and consequences -- you can hear why this won such an award at Cannes . . . and you didn't have to see the movie to "get it".
Check the trailer below.