Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio has emerged as one of the most critically acclaimed indie films of the year, gaining comparisons to the mastery of David Lynch and Francis Ford Coppola with Time Out saying the stylistically ambitious, morally radical, thematically complex work...deserves the highest praise . This turns out to also be an apt description of the film's sublime soundtrack, composed by Broadcast (aka Trish Keenan and James Cargill), before Trish's untimely passing last year.
Initially conceived as the soundtrack to The Equestrian Vortex, the film-within-a-film around which Berberian Sound Studio unfolds, it would eventually spill outwards to encapsulate the entire world Strickland had created and populated with eccentric, magnetic characters. On it's own, the music sets a sinister and atmospheric tone that still exists well within Broadcast's sonic universe.
The film's plot, which involves a British sound recordist's slowly degenerating mental state while working in an Italian film studio, has clearly been one driving force behind the music as has the work of pioneering Italian composers such as Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai. Working closely with Strickland as well as the film's supervising sound editor Joakim Sundstrom, Cargill wove in sound effects, screams and snatches of dialogue in order to bring elements of the film back into the soundtrack. The outcome is the rare piece of film music that not only enhances the visual, but exists on it's own as an independent work, and one that is an invaluable edition to Broadcast's inimitable history.