Jon Hopkins – Monsters OST

It’s natural for me to want to really dig down into what I recommend or post on here, to the point when I only bother to post something when it’s mindblowing, but in reality mindblowing isn’t round the corner everyday. It’s cool to show this variety of genres and times so lets keep that up. Really, rarely does a record get more than three listens, even if I like it, so why be so choosey about what I write about and enjoy things when they have their time in the sun.

This is a Jon Hopkins soundtrack for the film Monsters directed by Gareth Edwards, made in 2010. It’s a great film, and I watched it in the cinema twice – a rarity in itself considering I can barely pay their extortionate ticket prices. Light on story and dialogue, as in there’s not much of either, it behaves more like a silent monster film of yore. Romantic tensions between male and female, unable to be expressed fully, on a perilously long and difficult journey, suddenly encroached upon by a big slow moving monster, be quiet, be quiet, be quiet, that sort of thing… it has all the vital elements, but it’s modern. Infected zones, grubby urban backgrounds (sorry Mexico), all kinds of transport, little talk only body language, a very 21st century romance that. What made me make the return trip to the cinema was that I knew I wouldn’t get to see its cinematography again on such a large screen. Edwards’ use of POV through urban, jungle and post-apocalyptic sceneries is nightmarish in sequence, but the gradual lightening of the backgrounds hints to a new dawn for man. The Day of Dead festival scenes are dark with oranges of candles and red human faces. The jungle scenes are day and night, grey, green and black heavy, shots of rivers blurring by from boats, preluded a long night scene, and waking up to leave the green behind into the white and black husk of America, completing the stripping away of colours; no turning from their bleak, bleak future. The monsters? On a shoestring budget the CGI monsters are a marvel at how beautiful they are, in design and simply how they move. The soundtrack is minimal and complements what’s on screen well, building tension, keeping echoey soundscapes reflecting the wide open spaces, while shaving it down to claustrophobia for the jungle’s hyperventilation scenes. Jon Hopkins’ Immunity from 2013 is good too.

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