PrintE-mail Written by Nick Spacek

Videogram's been operating in the faux-soundtrack/homage game for a few years now, and it's always impressive to see how the Swedish composer can tweak familiar compositions to create something fresh and new. The musician – also known as Magnus Sellergen – has made some wonderfully-fun digital singles in recent years, but this marks his first full-length release.

These pieces are all, quite literally, takes on popular themes from pre-cert video scores. The titles let you know what you're into right away, and that's really half the fun of this record: seeing how well Videogram takes on a variety of styles. One wouldn't think the Jerry Goldsmith-inspired Damien would pair up all that well with a take on Sylvester Levay's Cobra score, but the eerie Gothic feel of The Omen eases surprisingly well into the action funk of Cobretti.

There's also not one, but two versions of the Harry Manfredini disco funk of Friday the 13th Part III; Camp Blood is more ponderously creepy, working the beats a little slower, and in a lower register; Voorhees Stomp is a trifle more upbeat, with a higher keyboard line that contrasts with the low-end pulse of the backbeat allowing this to operate as more of a dancer-number, replete with handclaps.

The fact that all the pieces are synth and drum-based lends them similarities they'd not have otherwise. Other than the fact that these are all genre-influenced pieces, there's not a lot in common between the music of Phantasm or Mangiati Vivi. However, Sellergen manages to tie all of these disparate influences together into a fantastic compilation that plays like a best-of, while still feeling as if it's brand-new.

The highlight of Pre-Cert is the epic closing track, Man is the Warmest Place to Hide, which manages to encompass the sweep of Morricone's score for The Thing while also imbibing it with John Carpenter's edge of discomfort. The sheer hubris of trying to make something like this is magnificent, and the fact that Sellergen succeeds is a triumph. It's absolutely inspired, and is a piece to which you'll find yourself returning, again and again.



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