x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Review: Berberian Sound Studio soundtrack

An evocative soundtrack that serves as a fitting epitaph to Trish Keenan, one half of the British experimental duo Broadcast.

Broadcast

Berberian Sound Studio

(Warp)

****

The British experimental duo Broadcast had already begun work on this movie soundtrack when the co-founder Trish Keenan died in 2011. Her long-time partner, James Cargill, quietly continued the project and the result serves as a fitting epitaph as well as a fascinating album in its own right, even without visual accompaniment.

Released to much acclaim last year, Berberian Sound Studio is a thriller about a sound engineer who becomes all-too immersed in the effects he creates for a mid-1970s Italian horror film, a premise that clearly provided a rich canvas for Cargill.

Over 39 short but varied tracks he compiles an evocative collage, capturing the spirit of taly's giallo movement: weird, occasionally wonderful movies that, despite tiny budgets, were frequently distinguished by inventive scores from the great cinema composer Ennio Morricone.

Broadcast draws from Morricone's psychedelic, organ-fuelled blueprint while also incorporating intriguing snippets of dialogue, sinister effects and tantalising snatches of the band's own brand of catchy sci-fi melody. An uneasy listen when compared to their previous work, this remains a worthy addition to the canon.