- 26 Oct 18
Spooky soundtrack from Radiohead frontman.
Anyone expecting The Eraser Part II can stop reading now. Sure, Suspiria is a solo Thom Yorke work, with the help of the London Contemporary Orchestra and Choir, but it’s not a standard album by any means. These 25 new compositions from the Radiohead frontman were written specifically for Sicilian director Luca Guadagnino’s reimagining of Dario Argento’s 1977 horror classic.
There are a couple of moments of real transcendence that can stand alongside much of Yorke’s back catalogue: the hauntingly beautiful ‘Suspirium’, a disarmingly simple piano and vocal affair, featuring some gorgeous solo flute-playing from Russian musician Pasha Mansurov; the slowly unfolding claustrophobia of ‘Open Again’; and the gentle piano and vocals of ‘Unmade’.
‘Has Ended’ is also worth more than mere curiosity value, and not just because it features Yorke’s son, Noah, on drums: it’s a hypnotic drone, all eastern-tinged, lazily swaying rhythm, with Yorke Senior exclaiming how “the fascists felt ashamed at their dancing puppet king.”
Elsewhere, there is plenty of horror film weirdness and effects that go bump in the night, from the nerve-jangling musical footsteps of ‘Belongings Thrown In A River’, through the quasi-religious chant that is ‘Sabbath Incantation’ and the jazz horror of ‘The Universe Is Indifferent’. The truly disconcerting ‘Volk’ once again features Yorke’s progeny on percussion; it’s full of nails-on-the-blackboard style effects, discordant synth farts and drums that roll their way into earshot, out of time with everything else, before it all disappears, except for some weird sound-shadows, like wind whipping through a graveyard.
‘A Choir Of One’ is a 14-minute ambient workout, complete with a train running through the middle, and on ‘Synthesizer Speaks’, the instrument makes itself heard not in words but in distorted echoes, unsettling noises and syncopated screams. ‘Voiceless Terror’, meanwhile, does exactly what it says on the tin, a cacophonous din of squeaks and squeals.
This unsettling noise-scape is perfect to soundtrack a scary movie, but as a listening experience, it should be filed under distinctly uneasy.