Top Bar
Musique Machine Logo Home ButtonReviews ButtonArticles ButtonBand Specials ButtonAbout Us Button
SearchGo Down
Search for  
With search mode in section(s)
And sort the results by
show articles written by  
 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Adam Wingard - Blair Witch(OST) [Lakeshore Records - 2016]

The original Blair Witch film remains one of my favourite horror movies, and I’m always surprised at the amount of people who are indifferent or dismissive of it - though I can very clearly see why The Blair Witch Project is a divisive topic. For better or worse, it really launched the ‘found footage’ horror genre, but curiously didn’t launch a Blair Witch film franchise, as it threatened to. There was a second film, which wasn’t very memorable, and more enticingly a prequel, proposed long ago by the original writers, which seems to have been forgotten.

Cue the surprising 2016 emergence of Blair Witch… I enjoyed it enough, and there were some nice touches, but ultimately it seemed to run on a horrendous amount of jump scares: to be crude, it felt like the Hollywood remix of the original. As if your favourite hardcore band had reformed, and recorded a new, modern album: shinier sound, but retreading old ground with something missing… On top of this, there was the shocking blasphemy of an actual soundtrack! To be fair, it’s not that incongruous with the film - in the way that a soundtrack would have really coloured The Blair Witch Project. Indeed, the soundtrack is often placed rather low in the movie, volume-wise - or at least felt that way, on my viewing. This might also be due to the very minimal, low-key nature of the soundtrack itself, and hearing it divorced from the film was a very different experience for me.

Whether or not you can truly appreciate a soundtrack separate from it’s accompanying visuals, given my strong views on soundtracked found footage, I’m going to do just that. The soundtrack was created by Adam Wingard, the director of Blair Witch, and he describes that process in an interview elsewhere on this website(here). The project was mixed and produced by Robert Rich, a legendary figure in ambient music. In the aforementioned interview, Wingard lists names like Lustmord, and Nurse With Wound, and coupled with Robert Rich’s influence, you can imagine the resulting sounds. It’s a very eerie, brooding dark ambience; low-key and bass heavy. There are ten tracks, the longest over seven minutes, the shortest a mere 54 seconds, and they are very much cut from the same cloth. It would be wrong to say that they all sound the same, but certainly, there is a narrow range of colour, tone and atmosphere on display. However, this is a virtue, maintaing a level of tension, and also helping to validate it as an experience enjoyable without the visuals: there is no ‘happy travelling’ music (for example) to unavoidably remind you that it is a dislocated soundtrack. It also has the effect of somewhat blurring individual tracks, and I’ve often found myself just listening to it as one long piece of music. In that respect, the first two works, Black Hills Forest, and Rustin Parr, establish several of the key features of the album: ominous, reverberated rumblings, distant echoes, dark or breathy drones, whines, and echoing, modulating percussion. To some extent, that summarises the entire venture, though there are also bird-like sounds, wind-like synths, mangled vocalisations, looping sub-bass dread, strange chirrups, and even odd motorbike-esque growls (on Invocation of Evil) to be found throughout. However, the bulk of the album remains dark reverbs and drones, creating a atmosphere of quiet dread. Indeed, played quietly, the album does nicely colour a room, without being intrusive. However, this is not to suggest the soundtrack is a simple wash; it is, in fact, surprisingly detailed, and listening at a louder volume reveals new worlds.

I realise that I haven’t spoken at great length about the content of the soundtrack, but listing those various sounds above suffices, I think. The work draws from a simple palette, and never strays too far from a core sound and atmosphere, creating something otherworldly and mysterious from it. It feels pretty essential to fans of dark ambient, or horror soundtrack work - or, for that matter, video game soundtracks like Silent Hill. In his Musique Machine interview, Wingard heaps well-deserved praise on the soundtrack to the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, and whilst his soundtrack to Blair Witch might not be as iconic, it is as notably idiosyncratic, and crafted. So I can do nothing but recommend this - the film, however…

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Martin P
Latest Reviews

Adam Wingard - Blair Witch(OST)
The original Blair Witch film remains one of my favourite horror movies, and I’m always surprised at the amount of people who are indifferent or dismissive o...
130919   Tissa Mawartyassari & Cronaca...
130919   Akio Jissoji: The Buddhist Tr...
130919   Devils Of Darkness - Devils O...
120919   Uniform & The Body - Everythi...
110919   The Hills Have Eyes Part II -...
110919   Todd Anderson-Kunert - Conje...
110919   BROKEN_CANYON - Drain
100919   Mascara - Mascara(Blu Ray & DVD)
100919   The New Blockaders - Live At ...
100919   Joli - Alone In The World
Latest Articles

The Early Years Of Allerseelen - ...
For over 30 years Allerseelen has stood as one of the most innovative, genre-eccentric and creative projects within the European experimental & post-indu...
040919   The Early Years Of Allerseele...
240819   Leyland James Kirby (The Care...
060819   Stevan Mena - A Cut Above The...
280619   Michael Ridge - From Tools O...
250619   Merzbow/ Merzbow & Balazs Pan...
110619   Elsewhere Music label intervi...
170419   Damien De Coene - Pedal Chai...
120419   Raison D'Etre, Desiderii Marg...
290319   She Spread Sorrow - Who are y...
190319   Stephen Thrower - Harvesting...
Go Up
(c) Musique Machine 2001 -2017. Celebrating 16 years of true independence!! Mail Us at questions=at=musiquemachine=dot=comBottom