Various Artists

Invisible Soundtracks, Vol. 4

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The Leaf label's INVISIBLE SOUNDTRACKS series explores the popular concept of music for the movies that play only across the screen of the mind's private cinema. These periodic collections prove indispensable, presenting exclusive pieces from label coordinator Tony Morley's handpicked array of overlooked and upcoming international producers. Apparent celluloid inspirations vary, with contributions unified only by their musical excellence.

310's vintage loop, Susumu Yokota's romantic waltz-time electronica, and Rothko's three-bass impressionism are adaptable to any number of cinematic settings. Bass Communion savors the heart-in-throat dread of the serial killer sub-genre's finer moments. Druckwelle's breakbeat kineticism, OP:L Bastards' future-funk sheen, and Beige's post-club dub convey foreign-film cool (reference: "La Femme Nikita"). Nacht Plank projects a stark, Toru Takemitsu-like aura that suggests grainy stock and inscrutable imagery. Broadway Project re-scores "Dracula" as a gangster-noir epic. Rob Ellis' dissonant instrumentation lends itself to the surreal vistas of Bunuel, Greenaway, or Caro/Jeunet; Freeform's jittery spazz jazz works similarly--with a hipper vibe. Sore and Steal, a pedal steel-and-musical saw duet featuring Pale Saints' Ian Masters, scores the greatest vignette Gus Van Sant never filmed. Manitoba, Oskar, and Keiron Phelan & David Sheppard mix electronics and live instrumentation, offering superb sketches that play as mini-movies.

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