Broadcast – 'Berberian Sound Studio' soundtrack
By Bella Todd
If things seen are less frightening than things suggested, horror soundtracks should hold a particularly insidious power. And so it proves with this uncannily absorbing album, noteworthy for being both the soundtrack to acclaimed Brit flick ‘Berberian Sound Studio’, and the last record by electronic psych-kraut dreamers Broadcast before Trish Keenan’s untimely death in 2011. Both are Warp productions.
In Peter Strickland’s thriller, Toby Jones plays a ’70s sound engineer from Dorking working on an Italian ‘giallo’ pulp horror. A specialist in adding birdcalls to natural history films, he must now mimic the insertion of hot pokers and the severing of limbs.
Mirroring the film’s mixing of the quaint and the unworldly, the album feeds dialogue, screams and other effects from the film through reedy pastorals and lurching analogue organ refrains. We’ve no idea what’s happening on screen during the typically disturbing ‘Fifth Claw’, but it sounds as though someone’s soul is leaking from their mouth, and a demon is forcing its way back in – in a good way.