After making several films without music, director Jessica Gorter went for a different approach for her recent film ‘The Red Soul’. Rutger Zuydervelt (aka Machinefabriek) was brought in to make the soundtrack for the documentary. They quickly agreed that the score needed to be very subtle, and not cliché-driven or overdramatic. An old bakelite record with a speech from Stalin and a few old LPs with Soviet songs became the starting point for the music.
Fragments of these were sampled, transformed and combined with the saxophone of Ilia Belorukov and percussion by René Aquarius (of Dead Neanderthals). The result is a series of textural and tonal collages that evokes a sense of decay as well as (false) nostalgia, perfectly fitting the theme of the film. On the soundtrack album, the various parts of the score are assembled to be heard as one seamless piece – as a story in itself.
The Red Soul was selected for the prestigious IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) International and Dutch Competitions.
Jonathan Canupp is a name you should know but probably don’t, but then again might. He records under Ten and Tracer and I’ve been into his records for ages and ages now. Back when I was checking out early net label releases, Jonathan came up as one of two people whose work in their entirety I just fell in love with. And funny how he actually works with the other artist now and lives in the same damn city – the person being a certain Jason Corder (offthesky, Juxta Phona) no less. He makes wonderful IDM music and in fact I may have asked him years ago now to make us a ‘meaty beaty’ record. And along he comes with the very cheek of making some sublimely evolved, subtly woven record using violin, tape machines, guitars, maybe some keyboards and other stuff too. Friendless Now is a beautifully realised work, and one of my favourite Ten and Tracer releases to date.
As a sort of pantheist, or at least an artist who finds great stories hiding in the vast visual subtleties of nature – Subtle Trees is a classical music collage as much as it is an homage to classical music. It’s core is created through sounds gathered in the owl hours by sampling ancient instruments whose cores were derived from the trees of nature. These sounds were layered like lichen on an ancient pantheistic sculpture.
I first came across Marihiko Hara’s work in 2007, with his ‘Cesura’ release on the excellent Italian net-label – Zymogen. It really drew me in more than most other work that was doing the rounds at the same time. It had the sort of organic details and attention to beautiful subtle developments that I had only really heard in offthesky and Nicolas Bernier before (both label mates on Zymogen I should add). It became my soundtrack to that year and an album I returned to almost daily during the winter months. After this I followed Marihiko’s work carefully, from his rather fantastic 2009 ‘Icon’ release on Cotton Goods to his recent ‘Prosa’ collaboration with Tomas Phillips on Tench Records.