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Jon Hopkins - 'Monsters' Original Soundtrack

  by Mark Rowland

published: 16 / 12 / 2010



Jon Hopkins - 'Monsters' Original Soundtrack
Label: Double Six Records
Format: CD

intro

Forceful electronica on soundtrack album to independent hit film from London-based composer, Jon Hopkins


'Monsters' is one of the most talked about films of the year, and has been described as “a game changer” by many film critics and directors. Made for an astonishingly cheap half million dollars, the film was shot on location in Central America and edited on British soil bvy first-time director Gareth Edwards. The films special effects were also produced on Edwards’ laptop, using Adobe After Effects, off the shelf software that can be bought anywhere. The film itself has been described as ‘Before Sunrise’ with aliens in it, so it is unsurprising that Jon Hopkins score is fairly electronic, subtle, and fairly minimalist. That’s not to say that it isn’t melodically strong or boring – Hopkins builds an underlying tension, and there’s a playfulness to his melodies that invokes the image of two people exploring a landscape and getting to know each other, which in essence is what the film is about. Hopkins can ramp up the drama when necessary, however, such as with ‘Underwater’, where screeching strings suddenly pierce the ambience and electronic pulses build the tension further. The tension starts to fade during the track, however, and towards the end, the ambient sounds start to creep back in. ‘Campfire’ is a particularly nice piece, emotionally driven and highlighting the central human element of the story, with some sudden tension towards the end of it. Past that point, the score gets a little darker, the strings return on the mournful ‘Dawn’ and ‘Temple’, ‘Attack’, with its screeching electronics and strings, revisits similar themes to ‘Underwater’. The two final tracks, ‘Encounter’ and ‘Monsters theme’, are the longest of the score. ‘Encounter’ is largely devoid of obvious melody, with different elements flickering in and out over a bed of rumbling noise, which eventually gives way to the wide-eyed wonder of the first half of the record. ‘Monsters Theme’ is the strongest track melodically, a fuller piece that vaguely evokes both Sigur Ros and the more ambient and melodic artists of Warp’s roster, which breaks down into a minimalist piano motif swathed in electronic hiss.



Track Listing:-
1 Prologue
2 Journey
3 Candles
4 Water
5 Underwater
6 Spores
7 Campfire
8 Dawn
9 Attack
10 Temple
11 Encounter
12 Monsters Theme


Label Links:-
http://www.doublesixrecords.com/
https://twitter.com/doublesixrecs
https://www.facebook.com/Double-Six-193166824052248/
https://www.youtube.com/user/doublesixrecords
https://plus.google.com/104074355299038154754


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