Boomkat Product Review:
Highly atmospheric industrial drones and haunting, cinematic treatments on this amazing, previously unreleased score from L.I.E.S./ Gravats mainstay Krikor Kouchian for Jean Epstein’s silent 1920’s French avant garde classic, a big tip if yr into Eliane Radigue, Ø, Kevin Drumm, Elodie.
Krikor summons spooked-out and glacial sounds in this superb, as-yet-unreleased soundtrack for the 2014 redux of Jean Epstein’s pioneering, silent 1920’s avant-garde cinema classic. The 1927 film ’Six Et Demi Onze’ tells the tragic romantic tale of two brothers who, unbeknownst to eachother, fall in love with the same woman. A timeless psychological narrative involving suicide and lies ensues across the film’s grand locations, but on his soundtrack Krikor prefers to home in on the internal thoughts of the film’s central protagonists, outlining a claustrophobic atmosphere in some of his most subtle and affective soundtrack work, which follows from a panoply of scores for everything from an Arnold Schwarzenegger documentary, to films on Franco-Saudi geopolitics and fantasy sci-fi. It’s arguably Krikor’s finest endeavour in this arena.
Recording for the score was made on portable recorders and laptop, which serve to heighten and intensify a “huis-clos” (“behind closed doors”) effect. Limned in sferic and plasmic tones, the 12 pieces suggest scenes and sensations of intrigue, loss, and paranoia. The results were pre-planned and mapped to the film’s edits, but ultimately Krikor improvised the parts, adopting a more classical, non-linear approach with cranky old upright piano for the other scenes, capturing a mix of subliminal instinct and more measured articulation.
The results weigh up as Krikor’s most elusive and haunting solo missive, mirroring a wealth of classic French film music and avant-garde minimalism, and serving to slot neatly on Boomkat Editions’ vinyl series beside soundtrack (and related) works by HTRK, Ø, and Akira Rabelais.