CD Review: COLOR OUT OF SPACE (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Colin Stetson)

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by Tony Frankel on February 26, 2020

in CD-DVD,Music


OK, now you’re talking!! As modern music continues to drone down some boring atonal alley, and soundtracks lack any kind of personality, along comes the soundtrack for Color Out of Space, an adaptation of a 1927 H.P Lovecraft short story by infamous director Richard Stanley, who was sacked from directing The Island of Dr. Moreau in 1996 — and hasn’t directed a film since. There’s a lot of buzz around the film which opens this week, but I have found surprisingly little about the masterful score by saxophonist and songwriter Colin Stetson. Now, since I haven’t seen the film, it may be possible that this resoundingly produced horror-sci-fi-creep-fest, now out on CD, only adds to the story of a family man whose psyche is subsumed by an extraterrestrial force.

Normally, I would point out what works in this track or that, but as I lay back with headphones on, the unpredictable otherworld enveloped me in its Dark Side of the Moon scariness (more than once, I saw helicopters and other flying machinery). When soundtracks are out to simply jar you, I get bored. This one gets under your skin in a thoroughly enjoyable way. Being a multi-instrumentalist, Stanley shows off his ability to orchestrate, creating a hallucinatory jail that I was glad to be locked in. The best part is we are unaware when instruments let off and electronica comes in (goodbye to that 20th-century Moog synth sound!). At one point I thought the violins were being played by knives or that someone was blowing into a sax with a reed made of hissing cockroaches (and I hadn’t even lit up a joint … yet). As you swirl around this dark, unsafe universe, be aware of the steady beats which remind you that what you are hearing is actually notated, just to make sure that beautiful, disturbing, sinister thing conjured in your mind isn’t actually sitting on your chest.

Color Out of Space (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Milan Records
13 tracks | 45:22 minutes
release date: February 7, 2020
vinyl edition set for release March 10, 2020, via Waxwork Records
for more info and to order, visit Amazon

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