REVIEW: I ORIGINS ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK / COMPOSER: WILL BATES, PHIL MOSSMAN / PUBLISHER: MILAN RECORDS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The score and soundtrack to I Origins reminds me a lot of Clint Mansell's recent work, particularly on Stoker. Will Bates' and Phil Mossman's music is a comfortable mix of electronic drums and what's either xylophone or vibraphone. It could be strange or oddball in the wrong hands, but the means by which the pair run piano and guitar through a series of effects lends the music an indiscernible, otherworldly aura, but it's grounded enough in modern indie rock (especially the dream pop of Beach House, Panda Bear and the like) that the score can stand on its own.
When one considers the inclusion of The Dø, Radiohead, and Fall On Your Sword, the indie rock comparisons become even more apt. Fall On Your Sword's cut, “Driverless Car,” is right in line with other such '80s-reflecting acts as College or Chromatics, and it's absolutely beautiful as it pulses and beats.
What's wonderful about Bates' and Mossman's score is that it coasts along, quietly lulling you into a sense of peace and tranquility, only to snap you out of your reverie halfway through with “India,” which has murky, burbling electronics under an insistent tabla beat and piercing synthesizer stabs.
It's not all high points, however – “Boise” is bog-standard “let's go do something important” music with an irritating percussive accent that sounds vaguely like taking a bite into an apple. It's a shame, because the half of “Boise” which works nicely with “The Test,” in that both pieces make excellent use of the harp, lending the score a haunting beauty. It's an instrument that doesn't see enough use, and its judicious inclusion here provides a wonderful bit of Renaissance counterpoint to the modern electronic aspects.
Speaking of beauty, “Salomina” is absolutely crushing in terms of it. It's an absolute swan-song, and is remarkable in terms of how restrained it is at first, until it swells and releases, only to quietly fade into minimalist beats and piano at the end. It's almost undone by the Radiohead track that follows it, however. “Motion Picture Soundtrack” seems to be a pastiche of film score tropes – many seemingly lifted from The Wizard of Oz – with Thom Yorke's vocals far too high in the mix.
That said, this is a lovely collection, and despite the occasional misstep, Bates and Mossman have crafted a score and soundtrack for I Origins that stands wonderfully on its own.