Article originally appeared on The Music 24 October 2018
A soundtrack is a tricky thing to enjoy; supposed to augment, supplement or transcend its accompanying art, but taken out of context it can sometimes feel inadequate. Thom Yorke soundtracking a Suspiriareboot is so incredibly difficult to decouple from context, it’s hard to say if it can stand without the weight of the movie or the man.
Some parts scream Yorke, or rather, Yorke laments across them in a vaguely hallucinogenic way, while other elements list from faintly eldritch to outright sinister with the help of synth stabs and Gregorian chants delivered with the guttural malaise of noise-rock in a foley room. It’s a lattice of semi-irrelevant ambience and isolated SFX that gives Suspiria a disconcerting feeling like it’s the ghost of Radiohead rattling chains on a haunted house tour. Though deliriously long, it is a wonderful tour punctuated by some suspiciously charming songs that wouldn’t feel out of place on a The King Of Limbs successor.
Overall, Yorke’s take lands on a softer side of psychedelic than Goblin’s original, for better or worse, featuring far less saxophone and its own diffident kind of flamboyance.
30/10/2018 at 05:18
Despite the tension between songs that could pass for Radiohead’s repertoire and more soundtrack-like material, the whole album flows remarkably well, particularly given its 80-minute running time. Tracks run together, connected by viscous strings and unsettling sound design; the “proper” songs float along a vast expanse of half-frozen slurry. Occasional Foley effects—footsteps, rustling, ominous groans—serve a function similar to the muffled screams of Goblin’s score, infusing the music with a subliminal pedal tone of terror. Yorke has said much of his compositional process entailed extensive studio tinkering, and that’s borne out in the richness of many of his sounds here—particularly in “Olga’s Destruction (Volk tape)” and “ Volk ,” where brooding piano and synth melodies dissolve into eerily detuned fugues reminiscent of Aphex Twin ’s microtonal experiments.