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In Rotation: Broadcast's 'Berberian Sound Studio'

January 11, 2013|By August Brown
  • Trish Keenan of Broadcast performs on stage during All Tomorrow's Parties Festival at Butlins Holiday Centre on May 7, 2010, in Minehead, England.
Trish Keenan of Broadcast performs on stage during All Tomorrow's… (Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns )


“Berberian Sound Studio” OST

(Warp Records)

When Trish Keenan died of pneumonia in 2011, the duo Broadcast left a big catalog of fried-wire psychedelic music that’s only grown in renown. Among their final projects was the score to the new British horror film “Berberian Sound Studio,” whose plot about a slasher-flick composer driven mad by his creations pairs perfectly with Broadcast’s aesthetic.

“Berberian’s” score jams just fewer than 40 movements into its 40 minutes. But each sliver is perfectly executed, tingly mood music, recalling the spooky analog synth work in the great Dario Argento “giallo” flicks. Some of it, including “The Gallops” and “Confession Modulation,” is surprisingly pastoral and sad; other bits like “Found Scalded, Found Drowned” and “Monica’s Fall” practically come with their own prop severed aorta.

The score cannily weaves in bits of Italian dialogue from “Berberian’s” film-within-a-film, making the whole thing like a Black Mass from the ’70s Occult Revival scene. Fans of Broadcast will relish this chance to hear Keenan back on record, but anyone whose idea of a great date night is “Suspiria” and takeout will savor the spine tingles of “Berberian.” 


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