Various ‎Artists – Doubleplusungood (The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

4 out of 5

Label: WéMè Records

Produced by: Various

I am very down with soundtracks that give a full impression of the movie they’re scoring, sight and sound of the flick unseen. Sure, that could be said to be the job of the soundtrack, but, well, not always; sometimes, their accompaniment only really “works” if you know the movie, and sometimes the music can work wholly on its own, very much its own album. And all of these can be enjoyable things, of course. But soundtracks that tell a story about a movie that then make you want to watch that movie – or maybe rewatch it – are impressive for that very reason: they not only engage on an audio level, and make for something you look forward to spinning up, but also craft, indirectly, a visual component.

I’d certainly just be guessing what Doubleplusungood is about at this point, but this score, as released by WéMè Records, makes it sound like quite a trip: an acid Western that descends from something campy into something surreal, and possibly quite haunting. The flow is a little uneven as we cross between those moods – though it is, purposefully or fortunately, done on distinct sides of the LP – but the dialogue that precedes these instrumentals of funk and electronica and ambient is intriguing itself, and excellently mixed in, priming the mood for when each of the various tracks gets cooking.

The Nick Leonardo Orchestra bring the lighter fare, a little jazzy and Morricone-y, giving me that Western impression, with Jean-Marc Lederman stepping in for slightly darker, more abstract and fare at the end of the A-side and on the B-side. We step more in to what might feel closer to home for WéMè with the beat-based compositions by Renaud Mayeur on the C-side – very much leaving the lighter, bouncier tones behind – and then the entire D-side goes to Ashtoreth for ‘Threnody V,’ which is a very bleak and haunting bit of minimalism. Lederman’s bits and the Ashtoreth track are maybe the hardest to “parse” into a seamless story, but they’re pretty excellent on their own, and also pose an interesting question of how they’d fit in to what “sounds” like a weird and compelling flick.

Maybe I’ll get to see Doubleplusungood at some point, though I’m having trouble tracking down info on it. However, I do worry that it can’t really match whatever dream version of it I’ve already filmed after listening to the score… so maybe I’ll just stick with putting the LP on again.