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Jim Guthrie – “Indie Game: The Movie Soundtrack” Review

Whilst I was not the most enamoured person in the world with Indie Game: The Movie, I enjoyed it for what it was but did enjoy the soundtrack more. Jim Guthrie the composer works many themes in its stay.

Opening with “Maybe You’ll Get Some Maybe You Wont”, it’s almost like a playful Sigur Ros theme with bells, buzzing synths and slowly building drums into an explosion that never comes and just fades away in tinkering bells and clock chimes. “Synching Feeling” is like the underbelly of the previous track, a fizzing buzzing memory with marimba slowly clanking out the previous theme before “Army of Assholes” gives us a brass / keyboard track that is both comical and clumsy as it is like a slightly dazed merry-go-round. The title fits it perfectly! “A Row of Circles” is a track full of rising arpeggios in almost binary form before “Proof of Something” perfects the art of backwards rewinding over a track that DVA or Botanicula would be proud of. It all sounds very Icelandic and that can only be a plus surely. There’s a certain grandeur to the full produced tracks. “Toy Computer” sounds like its taken a random note melody from a stylophone or from one of my very old melody handheld games from the mid 80s. It’s a cutely warming piece even when it begins to sound like lots of dialling tones on heat!

“A Glow You Know”  then veers to chip tune status but with real instruments intercepting over the top as the percussion freeforming itself round the track as side B starts. “The Red Bull” is a simplistic piece initially that builds and builds with its foreboding synth work. This carries forward into “Last We Spoke” which sounds like an 80s pop song crossed with LittleBigPlanet’s energy ego. “Monsters” breaks out the guitar for something very LPB or Voodoo Vince like with that western cowboy feel throughout as the drums clippity clop their way onwards. “Lobby Music” is built on a single sustained note and then other synths warble their way around that single note. It’s impressive it feels fresh after three minutes. “The Fantabulous World of Jimmy 3 Guts” not only has an awesome title but also a wonderfully understated melody with the guitar and closely recorded drums really working in sync together to provide a fantastic track. Also a toy piano can never be underused. “The Other Castle” keeps the toy piano for a quiet and disillusioned track of ambience and ticking clocks that sets you off your centre.

Side C of this double LP soundtrack kicks off with “Young Lungs” which is a beautifully euphoric guitar driven track. “Waiting For Gomez” again brings in this theme of ticking clocks and this time emphasises it with tuned wooden blocks. “My Deepest Flaws and Vulnerabilities” uses keyboards and electric pianos to good effect as it does with twisted boings to make a percussive twisting beat. “Big Win” is suitably joyous in its tone but doesn’t actually break out into anything and is very restrained before “Trust” gives us the vocal song for the soundtrack. Layered main vocals over a piano/drum work very well especially as here they sound very late 60s – as indeed does the song altogether because of how the instruments are kept as a distance. “Chips at Sea” is a satisfying closure with a Enya-esque moment in the sand.

The final side opens with “Forever Beta” which is like the beginning of an epic 80s rock ballad with its pulsating grizzly bass and singular kick drum over glassy keyboards. “Harsh Tags Pt 1” is suitably fun and quirky with lots of instruments and samples being pushed all over the shot which paves the way for “The Maelstrom” which takes the previous two tracks and merges it all into a fully functioning song only for “Harsh Tags Pt 2” to then take things further with a mickey tag freakout version of all the above! The soundtrack closes with “Sympathetic Syntax” which is an excellent way to end the soundtrack with a downplayed guitar / digital bleeping swansong.

Jim Guthrie does well to paint a diverse picture here across the 23 tracks. Mostly keyboard, guitars and chip sets – it’s all merged together into a great mix of styles and variants and has this Icelandic atmosphere to it all. Think Sigur Ros crossed with Amiina but with more emphasis on digital effects.

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