A mixed journey through 4 decades of cinematic sounds
"Stunning" [InTheMix] "Recommended" [Empire]


MUSIC FOR FILM:
cults classics curios

 

Music For Film : cults classics curios
The 52nd Sydney Film Festival companion CD

MusicForFilm
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REVIEWS

"To tie in with the 52nd Sydney Film Festival,
Georgie Zuzak and Paris Pompor have put together Cults Classics Curios, their second 'Music For Film' compilation CD after putting together such a fascinating collection with their first volume Silent Soundtracks. Pulling in selections from all over the cinematic map, the collection is actually designed as a complete listening experience - linked by cues created especially for the CD - as opposed to a generalist compilation. All with a local connection, tracks range from the classic (a selection from Brian May's Mad Max score; some of the legendary John Barry's music from Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout; Jigsaw's Sky High from The Man From Hong Kong) to the instantly iconic (David Thrussell's The Hard Word; Decoder Ring's Heidi's Theme from Somersault) and truly curious (Severed Heads, Orisha, Tooth and many more), all to great, highly original effect. 4 Stars"
[Erin Free, Filmink Magazine]

"The dudes at Sonic Arcana and Groovescooter
know full well that Australian film music doesn't begin and end with an ABBA track from Priscilla. Hence this collection of Aussie movie tunes - subtitled Cults, Classics, Curios - from some mainstream and many obscure and older films. It's a fun follow up to Groovescooter's excellent Silent Soundtracks. The disc opens proper with David Lindup's Testing Time, a brassy, funky groove from 1975's sex satire The Box. It sets the tone for the next few tracks with its funk stylings. These are picked up in the magnificent End Theme from David Thrussell's score to The Hard Word, and followed by the soaring vocals and cheesy rhyming lyrics of Jigsaw's Sky High from Brian Trenchard-Smith's The Man From Hong Kong. From there, we move into dreamier territory, with Tooth's appropriately named Dreamland and Decoder Ring's Heidi's Theme, which formed the core of their AFI award winning soundtrack to Somersault. Paul Healy contributes a smoky jazz number from Dirty Deeds, there's haunting stuff from non Aussie John Barry's Walkabout score, and some strong, oppressive and dark sounds from Jarrod Factor's Lightly Baked soundtrack. One of the true highlights is the cascading Flight From The Evil Toecutter. All swirls, glissando and epic scary brass, this is a choice cut from Brian May's Mad Max soundtrack that recalls the best of Bernard Herrmann. There are a few discordant missteps here and there, but this collection is terrific mental movie wallpaper. Recommended - now if we could just see all the movies the music is taken from. 4 Stars"

[Michael Adams, Empire Magazine]

"...Rather than simply draw from a selection
of this year's myriad offerings however, for this compilation the Groovescooter crew have cast their net right back to traverse almost four decades of Australian film soundtracks, collecting together the work of classic composers such as Brian May (not the Queen guitarist) and John Barry, who contribute moments taken from seminal Australian movies such as Mad Max and Walkabout, alongside the work of more contemporary producers more widely-known known for their work outside the film sphere, such as Decoder Ring, Severed Heads and David Bridie. The subtitle here - 'cults, classics, curios' also provides an indication as the slant of the tracks included here, with Pompor and Zuzak drawing together an eclectic 21-track selection that takes in a range of lesser-known Australian celluloid moments that sure to provide surprises for novices and film buffs alike. Don Meers' atmospheric intro track Nevermind begins things on a pulsing ambient note, with what sounds like treated strings arcing their way through a blurry background of echoing machine bleeps and skittering glitchy textures, before David Lindup's Testing Time takes things down a path that's a dead-ringer for an outtake from Isaac Hayes' Shaft score, wah-wah funk guitars riffling their way around a rolling backing of fluid funk-soul that also tosses in a slight element of crime-noir amongst its bright horns and snaking Superfly-esque flutes. David Thrussell's storming End Theme from Guy Pearce movie The Hard Word offers one of the most noirish moments amongst this collection, with a vast classic Hollywood film score feel thats soaked in John Barry-esque spy-jazz horns and thundering percussion... Tooth's epic, winding Dreamland (taken from the soundtrack to Angst) finds the middle ground somewhere between Herbaliser / Mo' Wax style downbeat instrumental hiphop and Roy Budd-esque slowburning film score orchestration, blues-steeped guitars and Hammond organs tracing their way around ghostly samples and clattering drums, before Inga Liljestrom's hauntingly intimate All Of This (taken from Australian independent film Left Ear) takes things down through a Mazzy Star-esque heavily-reverbed torch song vocal over gentle strokes of what sounds like a mandolin or dobro. ... Fresh from remixing Bjork, Ben Frost contributes Ray's Theme (from Australian film Everything Goes), which blends blurry drone-landscapes in the vein of Sigur Ros or Mum with trailing post-rock guitars and weary-sounding drums in one of this collection's most hypnotically-bereft sounding moments, while Brian May's Flight From The Evil Toecutter (taken from the score for Mad Max) brings on the white-knuckled fear with chaotic, blaring chase-scene strings and thundering percussion bringing forward a classic Hollywood epic score approach that counterpoints some of the more contemporary electronic productions on show here. Severed Heads' Pour Chiens Moyens (taken from the ÔIllustrated Family Doctor score) repesents this compilation's most up-to-date inclusion and calls to mind Phillip Glass or Brian Eno's glacial melodic ambience, with delicate wavering delayed-out synths gently emerging like bubbles from underwater, before Ens closes this expansive collection with Tropic Of Cancer... its digitally-manipulated trailing effects and slow jazz beats bringing things to a suitably evocative finish in the style of Andrew Pekler's jazz-tinged electronics. 52nd Sydney Film Festival Đ Music For Film is a stunning second volume in this ongoing compilation series from Groovescooter / Sonic Arcana that manages to take the listener through a head-spinningly diverse selection of evocative soundtrack moments from Australian composers, with a number of lost classics as well as more contemporary electronic inclusions ensuring that this compilation provides surprises from start to finish. Most notably, this compilation provides a vital snapshot of the ongoing relationship between Australian filmakers and composers, as well as the sheer breadth of sonic terrain being explored through the fusion of these two artforms in this country, taking in pristine electronic ambience alongside vast cinematic orchestration and funk-tinged offerings. A compilation of this type seems well overdue, and in this case, Groovescooter / Sonic Arcana definitely don't disappoint. Kick back, dim the lights and let the inner cinema unfold."
[Evil Chris, InTheMix - full review here]

"...Often soundtracks sound entirely
ridiculous outside the cinema and minus the popcorn. Music For Film: Cults Classics Curios is an entirely different proposition. The music is actually good. The compilation is more like show and tell with some of the country's best producers. Imagine the likes of Don Meers, Tooth and Pretty Boy Crossover entering the classroom and saying, 'I just watched this flick and this is what I think of it'. While you might not agree with what every artist has to say, it's more personal than Hollywood could ever hope to be."
[Sonia Sharma, CAT]

 

FULLTRACKLISTING

artist
track
film
01 don meers
nevermind
opening credits
02 david lindup
testing time
the box
03 david thrussell
end theme
the hard word
04 jigsaw
sky high
man from hong kong
05 tooth
dreamland
angst
06 the new pollutants
the muse
hills hoist
07 decoder ring
heidi's theme
somersault
08 inga liljestršm
all of this
left ear
09 paul healy
new flat
dirty deeds
10 philip brophy
swoon
intermission
11 jarrod factor
opening
lightly baked
12 john barry / city of prague
..... philharmonic orchestra
the final dance
walkabout
13 jarrod factor
last chance
lightly baked
14 ben frost
rays theme
everything goes
15 brian may
flight from the evil toecutter
mad max
16 orisha
a week is too long
the king of hearts
17 kazumichi grime
3_m10_thick.aiff
two thirds sky
18 severed heads
pour chiens moyens
illustrated family doctor
19 david bridie / john phillips
pool
hungry heart
20 pretty boy crossover
artificial snow
blink
21 ens
tropic of cancer
nanaon no senritsu

 

The MEDIA RELEASE
Sonic Arcana presents
A Groovescooter Production
in Association with the 52nd Sydney Film Festival

Compiled, produced and mixed by
Paris Pompor and Georgie Zuzak from Groovescooter in collaboration with the Sonic Arcana label, comes the first ever companion release for the Sydney Film Festival - now in it's 52nd year. This is unlike any soundtrack compendium you've heard before. A seamless journey through various moods and styles, it's more like the eclectic 'Back To Mine' series, than those heavily orchestrated, emotionally manipulative soundtrack collections of yesteryear.

Subtitled 'cults classics curios',
the album traverses almost four decades of Australian film music; from the most up-to-date post-rock and electronic producers (Decoder Ring and Severed Heads) to the long overlooked vice-funk of cult-classic 'The Box' as well as masters like the late Brian May ('Mad Max'). As for curios, there are plenty, but how about the soundtrack that was originally commissioned for pioneering gritty Aus-Hellinic film 'Head On' starring Alex Dimitriades and Paul Capsis. The version here didn't end up being used in the final cut after Melbourne shlock-horror filmmaker, composer and author Philip Brophy was replaced by Ollie Olsen of Max Q fame.

So sit back in your director's chair and let your mind take a windscreen journey through funk, jazz, post-rock, psychedlia, electronics and classic cinematic moods, with the 52nd Sydney Film Festival Music For Film companion CD.

From the producers: With this 2nd volume
of our 'Music For Film' series, the intention again was to collect evocative sounds from innovative Australian composers, and couple them in one seamless mix with masters of the trade - thereby highlighting their talents and also providing a non-linear, jump-cut journey through almost four decades of local cinema. For us, music and sound design is an integral part of the movie experience. Most artists featured here however, also consistently release music outside of celluloid circles; work that excites and captures the imagination. Their output often encourages the inventing of plots which play out on the widescreens of our minds. Their work for film is special then, because it works both in the theatre where the images are provided, and as unaccompanied, listening music. Besides hearing a few classics and discovering some rarities, hopefully for film directors, music supervisors and collectors alike, this CD provides some introductions to a new generation of music makers. Unlike many of the precarious TV/soundtrack compiles of decades past, we've aimed to make it a cohesively enjoyable journey from start through to closing credits.

Although nearly all contributions come from Australian artists, the obvious exceptions are luminary John Barry and British band Jigsaw. Most famous as the creator of the unforgettable James Bond theme, it's a lesser known fact that Barry scored the 1971 Aussie "arthouse" film Walkabout, where two urban siblings escape their father's murderous intentions only to wander the desert. From kung-fu action flick The Man From Hong Kong (an Oz/Hong Kong co-production) we also couldn't go past a classic fave from Jigsaw. Directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith, trainspotters will have noticed scenes from the film in a video-clip for Sydney beat-boffin Katalyst. For us Sky High represents one of those rarer moments when pop melds magnificently with celluloid. If you've seen the choreographed hang-gliding title-sequence over Hong Kong harbour, you'll probably agree. That the film also stars (uncle) George Lazenby - the only Aussie to play James Bond - is an added bonus, especially as the song melds perfectly with the upbeat vice of David Thrussell's (Soma/Snog) fantastic retro-inspired theme for crook-drama The Hard Word. Another underworld film of the time was Dirty Deeds. Set in the notorious Cross, the heartland of Sydney's gansterville, Paul Healy's score offers us a reprieve from the punchy mood, with a brief moment of tenderness. Now is a good time to introduce our only TV-theme inclusion for saucy, Number 96-era soap, The Box. This one's groovy '70s cop-style score, is an overlooked classic. Few remember that the telly soap spawned a cinema version in 1975 starring Graham Kennedy and blonde-bombshell Belinda Giblin! We also deviated slightly by including a Japanese film produced by Yusuke Hayamizu. A musician himself, Hayamizu initially began collaborating with Brisbane artist Ens on an album track, later using his track Tropic Of Cancer twice in the intriguing short film Nanaon No Senritsu (Seven Scales).

No Australian soundtrack compendium would be complete without the late Brian May, represented here with a chilling cut from cult-classic Mad Max. Later, well known film-composers David Bridie and John Phillips, from pioneering Proof scoring troupe, Not Drowning Waving also appear. Together they've amassed a large body of work for cinema/TV, alongside Melbourne filmmaker-lecturer-author- composer and Sound Punch chief, Philip Brophy. Brophy's track is particularly curious because it was commissioned for the gritty Head On. The job of composer however was later passed to renowned Psy-harmonics head, Ollie Olsen (Max-Q). Ironically we weren't given permission to include Olsen's End Theme, which would have highlighted the similarities between both composers' work. Although Olsen did a great job, it's obvious Head On would have been equally powerful with Brophy's score. Tom Ellard's Severed Heads is also a well known, though mysterious, entity. His ambient electronics for The Illustrated Family Doctor represent the most up-to-date inclusion here. Intriguingly, for the film's own soundtrack album, Ellard included a bonus DVD of reworked film images. Decoder Ring's gorgeous and celebrated score for Somersault is another recent one. It represents a band collaboration approach to scoring - something we highlighted on volume 1 of this series with groups like The Necks and Paul Kelly. A similarly delicate and alluring piece comes from director/music supervisor Andrew Kotatko's Everything Goes, which shares an icy affinity with Somersault's soundtrack. It goes beyond musical similarities; Kotatko's film also stars Abbie Cornish ('Heidi' from Somersault), whilst the music comes from rising star Ben Frost - who has recently remixed Iceland's Bjork. And from Bjšrk it's a short skate to Australian singer/composer Inga Liljestršm, who shares more than just an umlaut with the Nordic ice-queen. Often compared to Bjšrk, Liljestršm (whose visuals are an integral part of her live shows) contributes the stripped back All Of This from album Elk, which Sydney filmmaker Andrew Wholley used in his yet to be released feature Left Ear. Although the move to using pre-recorded music in films has become an easy option (and a marketing tool for large record companies), there's no doubt that a perfectly placed album track can work magic in cinema. Tooth's Dreamland (from debut LP No Strings) is a case in point, with the "Sunday morning" hook working a treat during Angst. Unfortunately only a small portion from Dreamland was used in the final cut, so here it is in all it's glory. Having recently premiered their re-scoring of Fritz Lang's 1927 classic Metropolis at the Adelaide Film Festival plus invites to do the same in Edinburgh, Adelaide group The New Pollutants offer up a rather spy-themed/spagetti wester piece from the unlikely named film, Hills Hoist. Though this series generally shies away from vocal tracks (preferring music to tell the story), Orisha's aching tune from The King Of Hearts works as wonderfully here as it does on screen. In contrast, is the machine-like, cyclic sound-art of Pretty Boy Crossover's piece for Blink, which shares executional similarities with Kazumichi Grime. Kazumichi's sounds capture the vastness of the locations, and the connection to land explored in Sean O'Brien's Two Thirds Sky doco on five indigenous and non-indigenous painters. Of course for us, no cinematic album could be complete without our own label's celluloid moodstar Don Meers on set. Working in both audio and visual arts, former TV composer Meers returns for Volume 2 and provides an opener that is yet to have the visual created, whilst similarly talented filmmaker/composer Jarrod Factor provides two early, yet gripping pieces from his own short, Lightly Baked. Enjoy!

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