An Interstellar Love Letter to Hans Zimmer

It’s not often that a film score like Interstellar comes along and when one does it’s usually written by Hans Zimmer. Granted, I don’t watch as many movies as I used to and age and parenthood has affected my choices, but I have become better at spotting something special. From the first musical murmur in Christopher Nolan’s…

Fricatives, Sibilance and Sonorance; singing without words

Legend has it that it all started with Louis Armstrong in 1926. In the late 30’s the BBC banned its use on air, believing it lacked respectability. But in fact, scat singing had been around long before Louis Armstrong forgot the words. In the New Orlean’s jazz scene it was said, ‘if you can’t sing it- you can’t play…

Guano Padano; Americana

I don’t really know how to classify Guano Padano’s Americana, but this is usually a good thing. There are so many factors here, so many reasons I can give to urge you to take notice of this record, but none of those really matter once you’ve heard the music. Guano Padano is an Italian group who play American…

Spiro; Welcome Joy Welcome Sorrow

‘Dancing music, music sad, both together, sane and mad’ John Keats. While this isn’t exclusively a film-music blog, I’m drawn towards cinematic music which is why I’ve been swept away with Welcome Joy Welcome Sorrow, the newest album from British group Spiro. Aside from the title – which lures me in like bait for terminal daydreamers, I took to…

The Spirited Music of Britain

Before you settle in to read this post, hit play on this track called The Hidden Door by Belbury Poly, otherwise known as Eric Zann, otherwise known as Jim Jupp. It won’t surprise you that Jupp’s alias Eric Zann is an homage to an HP Lovecraft and that Jupp’s various incarnations often reference “crows,church bells, magic spells and other horror…

Bitchin Bajas; unknown and unknowable

I’ve never been on trend, but it turns out Bitchin Bajas is a new release and I don’t normally rush into writing a post but I’m excited about this record. Research is what writers do, part of the job; but I have decided to write about this record in the spirit of the unknown and without the…

Soundtrack: Mad Max

I watched Mad Max for the first time last week. I liked it. A lot. It has that same callow honesty as many other Australian films made around the time of the great film-grant plunder of the mid-late seventies. Everything from the story telling to the setting, the sound, the dialogue and that inimitable Australian perspective give films of this era a…

Soundtrack: Only Lovers Left Alive

When Jim Jarmusch puts a film out, I almost get more excited about the music that it will feature. I discovered Mulatu Astatke’s hypnotic Tezeta in Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers. Dead Man [VINYL] is one of my all time favourite soundtracks, featuring the crunchy echos of Neil Young’s lonely guitar. Epic and desolate, Dead Man must have provided…

Falling in and breaking out

What is it about this clip that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up? What is it about a song with a great beat that makes you want to tap your foot? Daniel Levitin thinks it’s all about the falling in and the breaking out of the beat. He calls that…

Lalo Schifrin, nightly news and vampires

Lalo Schifrin was not a name I grew up knowing. In fact it’s only recently that I started paying attention when I heard this name, and ever since, I’ve noticed that unusual name cropping up in the most unusual places. Cool Hand Luke is undoubtedly one of Paul Newman’s best films and I love it,…

Bohren and der Club of Gore

The name sounds a bit frightening, especially when you know that ‘bohren’ means ‘drill’ in German, and when you find out that the band comprises of Thorsten Benning, Morten Gass, Robin Rodenberg and Reiner Henseleit who hail from a hardcore provenance, but this is a case of a musical bark being much worse than its bite. With…