Boomkat Product Review:
Twin Peaks sound-designer and David Lynch collaborator Dean Hurley returns with this long-in-the-making collage/mixtape/art project compiling/curating action movie scores with an emphasis on the extreme arp-laden testosterone-fuelled sampler/orchestra hybrid scores of the 80's-early 90’s - an absolute must-have for fans of FM and LA synthesis, digital samplers and hi gloss.
Going hard on the action sauce but holding the misogyny, ‘Big Balls’ is an expertly-arranged flashback to the hugely formative synth scores of golden-era action movies whose shooting budgets usually left 7 figures aside for the lead’s coke habit. If you grew up or watched movies during that era, you surely know exactly what we’re talking about, and if not then the music will definitely induce memories of muscle-bound megastars taking down helicopters with a machete and bumsliding over car bonnets against backdrops of explosions and such. You know the shit, and arguably for many the best part of those movies was their soundtracks, whose stacked and rippling arps, rocket-squeal leads and lush pads matched and properly heightened the on-screen excess in unforgettable and culturally osmotic ways.
The premise for ‘Big Balls’ then, finds Hurley - himself now part of the very highest tier of sound designers for film and television - drawing from a huge knowledge of this pivotal, unprecedented phase in maximalist soundtrack composition (which itself mirrored a wider phase shift from analog to digital studio production) to sure-handedly evoke all the sweat and fake blood of your favourite and most charmingly groan-worthy big Hollywood action hits. Using a panoply of extreme arpeggios, strutting 12bit percussion, sleazy basslines and syn-sax honks, he renders the finest sort of American cheeseboard that ideally highlights the style’s comical but practically avant garde tropes in a narrative-like flow and context bound to jog the imagination and have you acting out barrel rolls over the sofa and making home movies, The Wolfpack style, while under lockdown conditions.
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