Cine 09 Rashomon “The Cameraman´s Revenge”

Rue Morgue September 2014 Issue

George Pacheco for the Boston Examiner

Rashomon is an eccentric side project of Londo-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 ist ear.

„The Cameraman´s Revenge“ is the latest  Rashomon effort from Thompson and impresses big time with it´s carefully textured and densely layered approach to cinematic soundscapes. Thompson is diligent and thougthful in his composition, utilizing multiple instruments to create atmospheres which vary from malevolent and suspensful 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 it´s influence from Italian giallo and suspense cinema – particularly Ennio Morricone´s dissonant score fort he Enzo Castellari film „Cold Eyes of Fear“ – while also providing detours into psychodelic rock passages which wouldn´t sound out of place on a Popol Vuh soundtrack for a Werner Herzog film starring Klaus Kinksi.

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 it´s sonic journey, never allowing the listener too much comfort as „The Cameraman´s REvenge“ plies it´s musical trade with a schizophrenic sense of style.

So yes, „The Cameraman´s Revenge“ may prove tob e 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.

Marcus Stiglegger/Deadline

Anders erscheint dagegen die nach Kurosawas Filmklassiker benannte Dark Ambient/Experimentalformation RASHOMON. Das erste Album des dahinter steckenden ZOLTAN Musikers heißt „The Cameraman´s Revenge“ und bietet eine Sammlung irritierender und durchaus spannender Klangcollagen mit Ausflügen in den Goblin-artigen Progrock und Morricones filigrane Melodien. Dieses Album erschließt sich am besten über das exklusive Video, das auf einer DVD beiliegt, bewährt sich aber gerade beim mehrmaligen Hören. Futter für das innere Kino. Es bleibt spannend in Wien.

Norman Records UK

We’ve got a couple of fascinating treats from Cineploit this week, the first of which is this LP by Rashomon, the movie-themed solo project of Matt Thompson, who also plays in the bands Zoltan and Cremator. On this LP (and accompanying DVD) he has created scores for two short films by stop-motion pioneer Ladislaw Starewicz – creepy but charming silent films in which Starewicz has brought life and personality to various inanimate objects, particularly dead insects, as very human dramas play out in tiny, immaculately detailed sets.

It would be a fascinating artefact with or without Thompson’s contribution. The animation is very impressive when you consider that these two films were made in 1912 and 1933 respectively. You really feel like the beetle and his love rival the grasshopper have their own personalities. As for the music, it’s sensitively composed and somewhat timeless-sounding, employing classic synths (Fender Rhodes, Mellotron, MiniMoog, SCI Pro One) alongside more period-appropriate instrumentation including autoharp, bodhran, harmonium, psaltery, violin, zither, etc.

The overall effect is slow-moving and mysterious, ‘The Cameraman’s Revenge’ focuses on distant drones, peculiar clicks and shivers to signify insect chatter. Meanwhile ‘The Mascot’ throws in some John Carpenter-esque synth dread in its first movement before moving on to pipe organ twiddling and wheezing harmonium-and-percussion circus-ish bad vibes. Thoroughly bizarre and slightly twisted, these are sensitively crafted scores to some of the most head-scratching animations you’re ever likely to see.

Dusty Groove Chicago

Really amazing soundtrack music from Rashomon – done for the films of Ladislaw Starewicz – but more than strong enough to stand on its own! The music is over 100 years late in one case – as the film “The Cameraman’s Revenge” was originally created in 1912 – but the sounds here have a really timelessly spooky feel – a haunting blend of elements that include autoharp, bodhran, Fender Rhodes, harmonium, Japanese flute, jaw harp, percussion, mellotron, zither, and lots more – all laid out in this wonderfully eerie soundscape! “The Mascot” was filmed in 1933 – and the music is equally great – and the LP also comes with a DVD for “The Cameraman’s Revenge” – a tremendous rare Russian film – animated with insects!

iO Pages Holland