My favorite soundtracks - Mala Morska Vila (1976)

This Czech version of the Hans Christian Anderson Little Mermaid fairytale is the most dreamlike realisation of an underwater world you will ever see on the screen. The Zdenek Liska soundtrack is haunting, mixing orchestral and electronic elements that resonate with the intensity of the sea. There are deep electronic oscillations in here that feel like living organisms, and tightly filtered tuned white noise is used to dramatic effect. Composer Liska also used on set recordings effected and manipulated to add yet another layer of unreality.

The film itself is currently unavailable to buy.  The full soundtrack can be purchased from obscure soundtrack hunters Finders Keepers, whose Doug Shipton I have to thank for introducing me to this masterpiece of European cinema.


My favorite soundtracks - Assault on Precinct 13 (1978)

The first in a regular look at some of my favorite soundtracks. With so many to choose from its a tricky task, but here goes.

First up is John Carpenter's stark electronic score for his first feature film Assault on Precinct 13. The film itself is a pretty straight forward 'police under siege' story and is a great example of how a soundtrack can lift an otherwise unspectacular movie. Simple DIY electronics created using borrowed equipment, provide wavering synthesizer tones and repetitive primary drum machine rhythms, more noise than definable as actual drums, which lift the film and give it the cult status it rightly deserves. Its a powerfully evocative score that hints at later work to come in Escape From New York.

Recently re-issued by Death Waltz Records in a stunning package.