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Broadcast : Berberian Sound Studio

Over the festive break I decided to catch up on some of the movies I’d missed over the last twelve months, one of the more interesting being Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio, starring Toby Jones as a British Foley artist flown over to Italy to work on the soundtrack for giallo horror flick The Equestrian Vortex. Starting off as a mildly surreal farce – language barrier confusion, vegetables abused to produce dismemberment sounds – the film gradually morphs into a tense, unnerving study of life imitating art as Jones’ character Gilderoy finds himself sucked into the world he is helping to create. Fittingly for a 1970s-set picture about obsessive audio geekery, its score – by Warp Records‘ retro-futurists Broadcast – is equally impressive; started before the tragic death of singer Trish Keenan (in 2011, aged 42, from pneumonia) and completed afterwards by bandmate James Cargill, it’s a weird and wonderful sound collage that places the group’s kitschy electronic library music alongside snippets of dialogue and samples (church organ, screams, incantations, a “dangerously aroused goblin”) from Strickland’s future cult classic, capturing its eerie ambience perfectly and doubling up as a lovingly assembled tribute to one of experimental music’s most recognizable – and irreplaceable – voices. Stream Broadcast’s soundtrack (out January 7 via Warp) in full over at NPR, and watch the “title sequence” for the “film within a film” The Equestrian Vortex below.


About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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