Boomkat Product Review:
One of London’s most intriguing labels ventures a dark fantasy horror/gamer soundtrack by its co-founder, Lugh O’Neill for an experimental film of the same name by Kevin Brennan.
Lugh follows a highlight of the label's ‘Apocope’ compilation with his most enigmatic work, scored in a back and forth with director Brennan to locate some of his most curious and haunted recordings. Made to accompany the film’s part documentary, part scripted format, the music follows a storyline about real life imitating gamer life, and vice versa, outlined by the label as grappling “with the idea of virtual violence as a form of expression and identity whilst scrutinising the predominantly male ‘gamer-bro’ archetype synonymous with these online cultures.” As with 'Apocope’ earlier in 2021, the concept does not get in the way of enjoyment of the music, acting on its own merits as a steeply absorbing suite of suggestive soundtrack and finely sculpted dark ambient music.
The ‘Erangel OST’ finds its closest aesthetic corollary in Lugh’s ‘Re Munus’ LP of 2020, but loses that LP’s more frantic aspects in favour of an extremely slow burning appeal, where scenes unfold at a glacial pace that’s hard not get sucked in by. Its 10 parts unfold thru 37 minutes, describing a fleeting play of shadow tones and transportive spatial settings. Any violence is implied and not explicit, perhaps seeping thru in the unsheathed sword scythes and keening guitar noise of ‘Crystalline Dawn’, the bellyaches of ‘Lost Boys’ and the beastly grind of ‘Moan Jiro,’ but more often reserved to the peripheries where it suggests the tension leading up to the act, and its aftermath, especially in the highlights of ‘Idle,’ the guttural lurk of ‘Forest Lure,’ and exquisite designs of ’Sentinel.’