Jon Hopkins – Monsters (original soundtrack)

January 01, 1970



In more than a few instances during the soundtrack for the
modestly budgeted science fiction film Monsters, Jon Hopkins’ score
doesn’t differ much from Insides, the 2009 full-length album from this UK
producer/composer. Insides is a sweeping, tranquil techno record
balanced with both organic and bubbling programmed sources. While it isn’t
without aggressive bass grooves or glitch techno-fired blasts, the fluttering
ambient pieces on Insides are the standouts of the lot, and Monsters
dearth of bluster partners with those compositions very well.


For his first solo film scoring gig – he collaborated
with Brian Eno and Lee Abrahams for The Lovely Bones – Hopkins pursued a
sound that’s clean and quite creepy. His score lands close to the work of
revered post-rock acts, but its punch is that there really isn’t one.


Italian Grammy Award-winning musician/Goldfrapp
contributing player Davide Rossi arranged the strings for the Monsters soundtrack, while Jon Hopkins wrote each piece, sometimes softening Rossi’s
contributions in the studio so that they glide seamlessly alongside piano and
warm, lingering guitar lines. Closer “Monsters Theme” is a fine
example of how full this record sounds within Hopkins’ tasteful boundaries. It’s
reminiscent of L’Eixample, a lush and melodic 2008-era effort from
experimental electronic musician Tim “Near the Parenthesis” Arndt.
With the powerful string base, “Monsters Theme” is bigger than
Arndt’s album, but aside from chiming guitar and breaks of piano, the rest of
the closer is a slowly cascading missive, a more orchestrated bridge from a
Slowdive track, each part fusing gracefully with the next. While the tension
and shrill violins underpinning “Attack” are necessary and remind us
we’re listening to a film score, Monsters‘ “Campfire” and
“Journey” are just beautiful works from Jon Hopkins, no climax


DOWNLOAD: “Monsters Theme,” “Candles” DOMINIC UMILE

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