Boomkat Product Review:
A follow-up to their Ghostly album ‘Venus in Leo’, 'Over The Rainbow’ is HTRK's soundtrack to Jeffrey Peixoto's Scientology documentary of the same name, providing us with a rare all-instrumental showreel that's testament to a haunting soul that’s long lurked under the hood of their singular, hugely evocative sound.
'Over The Rainbow' strips away HTRK's signature vocals and drum machines in a commission to fit the mood of Peixoto's feature - a film that seeks to better understand Scientology through a range of perspectives, from psychologists to former members. Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang use their considerable knack for conjuring haunting, heavy-lidded feels and ohrwurm hooks to map the mood, deploying a trademark, incisive sense of detachment that colours the film’s intersection of real beliefs and ideas of Scientology as a sect.
In the absence of Jonnine Standish’s vocals and Nigel Yang’s 808 boom, HTRK’s musick is pared to its essence of synths and electronics and painted in hazy, illusive strokes from a palette of smudged pastels mutual to both South California and the band’s native Australia. The result is a 13 part mosaic tiling hazy blue cues with aqueous ambient pads and baroque themes, playing out like the atmospheric strokes to LA noir in a way that silhouettes the film’s probing narrative and rhetoric and also reflects its fascination with American culture and the supernatural in a similar way to Eno’s ambient classics or Lynch flicks and their scores.
Ultimately ‘Over The Rainbow’ is an instant play-it-again entry to HTRK’s catalogue, one that supplies a sort of crystal ball window onto their practice and most subtly illuminates the duo’s masterful control of tonal sensitivity and floating, chamber-like composition. A big recommendation to all lovers of classic ambient music, from Pinkcourtesyphone to Gigi Masin, AFX and Eno.