Whilst in the midst of being down and out with Covid-19 back in November I watched a lot of movies. It was a great way to pass the time and took my mind off of feeling terrible. One of the movies I watched was Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House from 1977. It was one of those movies I’d been told for years to watch as it was a pretty wild flick. Well they weren’t wrong. It was like a mid-70s Disney film on acid, with touches of surrealism and Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice. A girl takes some of her friends to visit with her eccentric Aunt for the summer. Weird things start happening in the house and to the friends. It was truly a wild film.
On Lost Cues II, the latest from electronic artist Alone 1980, House is given a reimagined score. Where originally the quirky Japanese film had a more upbeat score, Alone 1980 deep dives into tension, dread, and eerie synth tones(a world he’s quite familiar with.) The result is a dark and foreboding sonic soundscape that captures the more seedier undertones of a film about ghosts, haunted houses, and teenage girls being devoured one at a time.
The artist known as Alone 1980 is quite adept at the imagined film score world. Each of his releases take you into the world he’s creating out of tones, rhythms, and melody. With Lost Cues II he’s using this eccentric Japanese ghost film as a jumping off point, and the results are an album of dense, sonic depth and dread.
Songs like “Red Floor”, “Doors Opening”, and “Piano Dust” weave dread and tension effortlessly. “Head With Fangs” simmers like a demonic calliope, while “Wake Up” works its way into your brain with drones and synth strings. It feels like waking from some strange dream.
Elsewhere “It Dances Backwards” works in a slow motion dread sort of way. It simmers with tension just under the surface. Album closer “In The Mouth Of Sadness” keeps the vibe of the record going until the end, but with a sense of closure that simmers just under the surface. It has an almost fairy tale quality, like waking from some fever-induced dream you can’t recollect seconds after waking.
If you haven’t seen House, you’re missing out on some high end absurdist fun. What Lost Cues II seems to do is give the surreal, child-like tones of the film a heaviness. I’m imagining the film with this album playing behind it and I think it would become an entirely different film altogether. Something far more sinister and desolate. In other words, Lost Cues II does exactly what it set out to do.
7.9 out of 10
‘Lost Cues II’ will be released on Friday, 3/5. Hit up Alone 1980s Bandcamp page tomorrow and grab a copy.