„…and Midian is where the monsters live…“

One of my favourite quotes comes from Clive Barker’s fantastic fairy tale about good and evil, about the struggle of minorities, the fear of the unknown and the horrible evil that is in us all:

To be able to fly? To be smoke? Or a wolf?
To know the night and live in it forever. That’s not so bad.
You call us monsters. But when you dream,
you dream off lying and changing…
and living without death.

In the early 90s was a time of orientation for me. Maybe that’s why I find it so difficult to identify with the later artworks. Danny Elfman became the most important composer for me at the time. So it was the study of his work that brought me to „Nightbreed“. At that time I had not yet realized the connection with Clive Barker, whose „Hellraiser“ I had already devoured again and again and which inspired my imagination. Both works belonged to the flickering narratives, which inspired me for the inseparable symbiosis between picture and sound, film and music. So you could say it was a crucial experience.

Nightbreed (Original 1990 Score)[Vinyl LP] has a very good quality and it is a pleasure to rediscover this classic. Again and again, I notice on LPs that you discover sounds and gimmicks in the music that you weren’t so much aware of before. This is either because of the scale of an LP or because of conscious listening, which is not always the case with a quick click in iTunes or on a CD.

In this case, there are also some fantastic artworks on the cover, inside the gatefold cover or on the „Supplement“. Besides the great music, the LP is a total work of art that takes you back to the golden times of the monster horror of Clive Barker. When you look at the director’s cut of the visually stunning, epic battle between good and evil, no wish remains unfulfilled.

Gods and Monsters

Sorry for the corny title. But I think it is corny because it fits… so often. By the way, this post may contain SPOILERS. So, don’t read if you haven’t seen the movie GODS OF EGYPT and still want to be surprised.

Having said that, you might find it difficult to find any surprises within this flick. The reasons why GODS OF EGYPT failed with critics and viewers are obvious. The characters have little depth, the effects are too massive to support the B-movie-flair. But if you strip away expectations of another „Mummy“ (the 1999 instalment of course) and the epic politics of the „Underworld“ movies, you might find some enjoyment in things that became very rare during the age of industrially produced block-buster-features.

„Death Is Only The Beginning…“

Countless deaths mark Set’s trail in this film. But in the end, all the heroic figures can be saved thanks to Set’s own reign of chaos. While he turns heaven and hell upside down he – somehow – makes the return of all the gods slain in his path possible. I’m not quite sure why, but it is refreshing to see that old „heroic-sacrifice“ crap go to the dogs. I don’t know if you feel the same way if I am insane or something like that but I want my happy ending. I don’t want to see the heroes, I suffered from for 2 hours, perish for a greater good. That is more realistic you say? Well, if I want realism, I go to work and don’t watch a movie about Egyptian gods fighting each other.

“God of The Impossible…“

But let’s talk about the music. I often wondered what fascinates me the most about the music of Marco Beltrami. Listening to GODS OF EGYPT I get the feeling, Jerry Goldsmith is still alive and still evolving. This is no copy or poor imitation of the great master’s work, it is his teachings and legacy living on. Marco’s soundscape is movies as they should be, the sound of a golden age.

I also love the classic nuances of „old-Egyptian-stories“ and their music no matter if it was created by Alex North, Jerry Goldsmith, David Arnold or Marco Beltrami.

“I, Robot…“

Now we know, the Egyptian gods weren’t aliens at all. They were transformers and smoking hot ones, too. I really cherish the way CGI creatures move. As much as I love practical effects, the movement of animated humanoids is so cool. On a personal note, I want to say, that no CGI buddy beats the Aliens and Predators made of real foam and rubber out there.

“No Harm Ever Came from Reading A Book?“

Whoever is responsible for the final cut of GODS OF EGYPT probably tried to learn from Evy’s mistake in „The Mummy“ and didn’t bother with literature, history, technique and stuff. I don’t blame the writers because we all know that producers and marketers have the real power over a motion-picture these days and frequently manage to mutilate one beyond recognition unless there is some Spielberg or Kubrick standing in their way.

This movie really has it all: cheap jokes, plot holes, continuity flaws and a campy story beyond reason. I want to mention though that the latter is a fountain of enjoyment for me. If you compare it to some of the – so-called – big hits like „The Phantom Menace“, „Man of Steel“, „Transformers“ or anything else from director-imposter Michael Bay, it really is not that bad.

Gerard Butler…

…my hero. I love him.

All in all there are worse ways to waste your time. Watch the movie, listen to the beautiful music and enjoy the cool CGI-Gods brawling.

V’Ger Speaks

I grew up with Star Trek and so it became my definition auf Science-Fiction. Over the years, even decades, I established my personal philosophy of what Science-Fiction means to me. Although totally unrelated to a certain franchise Star Trek still fits all criteria. The pre-J.J. Abrams Start Trek that is.

And then there’s my fascination and love for film music. Trying to keep up with what is trending and what is not, I listened closely to what was happening beyond the images on the screen. But today I have my own concept of what is right, what is mediocre, and what is wrong to me in that field, too.

During the past decade the vast variety of composers I called favourites was reduced to a few, and one shining example always stands out; Jerry Goldsmith. For me he was the most talented, the most versatile and most professional composer of all time. Some of his works define an age, a genre or a franchise.

Jerry Goldsmith is Star Trek, Star Trek is Science-Fiction and both of them are as close to me as any member of my family or friend can ever be.

Have you ever imagined what rock music would be without The Beatles or Queen? Have you ever wondered what books would be without The Bible or Stephen King or what movies would be without Billy Wilder or Steven Spielberg? It would be the same with film music without Jerry Goldsmith or Star Trek without Jerry Goldsmith.

La-La Land Records built a monument to honor his talent and accidentally, they built a monument for my life with a record that combines sound, class and emotion.

By the time you reach „The Meld“ on side D you might have experienced every emotional state possible and you’ll definitely start for the adventure again.

Turntable with La-La Land Start Trek Record

…you live in the world you choose…

I’m often amazed by the unlikely places to find inspiration and motivation. A couple of years ago, I saw an underground werewolf movie called „Dark Moon Rising“. I later learned of more titles for that flick depending on region of distribution and medium. But that is not really important.

I liked the movie because of its characters and view on the world. As admirer of movie music, I like to sharpen my ears for the music between the usual compilation of songs and source music. But watching this feature, I just couldn’t help but pay attention to the songs that seemed so fitting, so perfectly chosen.

Reading the movies credits, I realized that most of the songs were written by the same artist, singer and songwriter Geoff Gibbons. I dug a little deeper and found his work on iTunes, including the fascinating compilation for the movie I’d just seen.

Since then Geoff’s songs have guided me on many journeys and helped me out of the mists of bleakest thoughts more than once. His themes and stories are so authentic to me, I feel save and sound listening to them. His melodies from thoughtful to joyful get to me every time and it’s always a different song touching my heart the most.

I’d like to see Geoff Gibbons‘ records as poetry of our time, and I’m grateful that they found their way to me to make my life a bit more worth living. That goes for the messages as well as for the melodies.

 

“….ich mag zwar synthetisch sein, aber ich bin nicht blöde…“

Sagt Bishop in Aliens, oder zumindest so ähnlich. Das fantastische Album ist auf CD auch synthetisch, aber nicht blöde. Wie auch immer, es sind die „nicht-synthetischen“, die wahres Heldentum zeigen.

Aliens fügt sich nahtlos in das Werk James Horners ein. Gemeinsam mit einem atemberaubenden Film entsteht daraus eine Legende. „Bishop’s Countdown“ ist dabei nur ein besonders bemerkenswerter Teil des Ganzen.

Qualitativ und inhaltlich geniale Veröffentlichungen, wie diese, lassen das Herz des Soundtrack Sammlers höher schlagen. Lediglich der Preis hat eine eher ungesund Blutdruck steigernde Wirkung.

Dennoch, geht es um ein Album wie dieses, ist der Preis wohl das kleinste Kriterium. Ein Denkmal für einen der größten und viel zu wenig beachteten Komponisten unserer Zeit. Er wird schmerzlich vermisst.

Aliens (2lp/180g/Bonustracks) [Vinyl LP]

“…und in Midian leben die Monster…“

Eines meiner liebsten Zitate stammt aus Clive Barker’s fantastischem Märchen über Gut und Böse, über den Kampf der Minderheiten, der Angst vor dem Unbekannten und dem abscheulichen Übel, dass in uns allen steckt:

To be able to fly? To be smoke? Or a wolf?
To know the night and live in it forever. That’s not so bad.
You call us monsters. But when you dream,
you dream off lying and changing…
and living without death.

Anfang der 90er Jahre war für mich eine Zeit der Orientierung. Vielleicht fällt es mir daher so schwer, mich mit den Kunstwerken der Zeit danach zu identifizieren. Danny Elfman wurde damals für mich zum bedeutendsten Komponisten überhaupt. So war es das Studium seines Werks, dass mich zu „Nightbreed“ brachte. Damals hatte ich noch nicht die Verbindung mit Clive Barker erkannt, dessen „Hellraiser“ ich bereits wieder und wieder verschlungen hatte und der meine Fantasie beflügelte. Beide Werke gehörten zu den flimmernden Erzählungen, welche mich für die untrennbare Symbiose zwischen Bild und Ton, Film und Musik begeisterten. Man könnte also sagen, es handelte sich um ein Schlüsselerlebnis.

Nightbreed (Original 1990 Score) [Vinyl LP] hat eine sehr gute Qualität und es ist eine Freude, diesen Klassiker damit neu zu entdecken. Immer wieder fällt mir an LPs auf, dass man Klänge und Kniffe in der Musik entdeckt, die einem vorher nicht so bewusst waren. Das liegt entweder and dem Volumen einer LP oder an dem bewussten Hören, das bei einem flinken Klick in iTunes oder auf CD nicht immer gegeben ist.

Dazu kommen in diesem Fall einige fantastische Artworks, auf Cover, im Inneren des Gatefold Covers oder auf der „Beilage“. Neben der großartigen Musik ist die LP ein Gesamtkunstwerk, dass einen in die goldenen Zeiten des Monster Horrors des Clive Barker zurückversetzt. Wenn man sich dazu noch den Director’s Cut der bildgewaltigen, epischen Schlacht zwischen Gut und Böse anschaut, bleibt kein Wunsch offen.