Rashomon is an eccentric side project of London-based musician Matt Thompson-who also provides heart-pounding synth soundscapes under the moniker of fellow Cineploit Records artist Zoltan-a dense and challenging outfit which takes the classic approach of "film music" and tosses it on its ear.
The Cameraman's Revenge is the latest Rashomon effort from Thompson, and impresses big time with its carefully textured and densely layered approach to cinematic soundscapes. Thompson is diligent and thoughtful in his composition, utilizing multiple instruments to create atmospheres which vary from malevolent and suspenseful to haunting, beautiful and even occasionally humorous. Mellotron, Fender Rhodes, Jew Harp and MiniMoog meet the comparatively "traditional" instrumentation of guitars, bass and drums to create mood music which can be tribal and discordant one minute, to subtly beautiful in the blink of an eye.
The success of Rashomon must certainly be laid squarely at the feet of Thompson's impeccable eye for quality, as well as his obvious love for the classic cinematic music of Italy, Spain, America and, of course, his native England. The Cameraman's Revenge takes its influence from Italian giallo and suspense cinema-particularly Ennio Morricone's dissonant score for the Enzo Castellari film Cold Eyes of Fear-while also providing detours into psychedelic rock passages which wouldn't sound out of place on a Popul Vuh soundtrack for a Werner Herzog film starring Klaus Kinski.
There is also a certain playfulness to Thompson's compositional style; one which lends itself almost to the cut and paste sound collage style of Norwegian weirdos When and Bogus Blimp. Each track here takes numerous detours during its sonic journey, never allowing the listener too much comfort as The Cameraman's Revenge plies its musical trade with a schizophrenic sense of style.
So yes, The Cameraman's Revenge may prove to be uneasy listening at times, but the treasures which are revealed through conscious effort and patience from the listener should prove to be boundless when it comes to the sonic danger which is Rashomon.
ORDER FROM CINEPLOIT
FOLLOW THE CAPE COD ROCK EXAMINER ON TWITTER