Thursday, October 25, 2012


Howard Shore 

"Today we are witness to the dawn of a new communications era..." Bleep. Bloop. Bleep. Buzz. Now here's a soundtrack that definitely won't get you laid (come to think of it, none of these will) but who needs a "significant other" when you've got headphones and Howard Shore's genuinely unsettling future-kill kompositions attacking your central nervous system? Shore is a brilliant soundtrack composer capable of manipulating the spectrum of human emotion with the mere push of a finger or swing of his conductor's wand. He wears black suits and combs his tuft of dignified silvery locks back from his decidedly high brow like a crown. He has won awards and moved millions with his Lord of the Rings scores. More importantly for our dark purposes today, he has closely collaborated with David Cronenberg ever since the heady "body horror" days of The Brood and with very few exceptions has scored some of the Canadian maestro's finest moments. Just beyond those quirky black-framed glasses that suggest all the stable pretense of the yawning intelligentsia there is a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. One gets the creeping feeling that he has perhaps devoted more than the usual amount of time thinking of new ways to inflict pain. Ok, he's probably a smart well-adjusted citizen. But none of that good-natured charm is evidenced on the seven pulsating, throbbing, seismic tracks that comprise the Videodrome soundtrack. It ain't exactly like listening to a hooker vomit on some asshole's shaft for seven minutes but, note for note, this score gives Taint a run for his money for sheer malefic atmosphere and plain ol' bad vibes. Noise hipsters think they're pretty "post-deconstructive" or whatever but few can sip their cocktail comfortably when 801 A/B is hissing and oscillating through the channels like some terrible electronic parasite. Trust me. They run straight back to the tattoo parlor and get their ears stretched wider. Apparently this entire record was "realized on Synclavier II" but there was also a synth programmer, two computer programmers, a sound FX programmer (what does that even mean?) and a dude credited with the sound FX montage that occasionally slips into the mix and makes you feel like the turntable is breathing and Debbie Harry is about to extinguish another cigarette on the pale orb of her perfect breast. Apparently, it takes a village.