Isn’t it kind of great when your day job (playing in a celebrated modern psych-rock outfit known as Black Mountain) and your favorite hobby (making film scores) eventually merge to become the same thing?
You see, back in 2010, Jeremy Schmidt—best known as Black Mountain’s highly-regarded synth player—flexed his muscles under his Sinoia Caves moniker to create the brooding, throbbing, psychedelic-yet-intensely-dark score for Panos Cosmatos’ 2010 feature Beyond the Black Rainbow. The visually intense homage to ‘80s horror/sci-fi never got much in terms of a major release, but as the years have gone by, its reputation as a DVD cult favorite has grown and grown. The score, it turned out, proved to be a major part of it, and even with Black Mountain cheekily subtitling their Year Zero best-of compilation “Original Soundtrack By”, it’s the demand for Schmidt’s work as Sinoia Caves which has grown and grown, up to the point where his longtime record label, Jagjaguwar, finally put out his epic score for BtBR in Fall of 2014.
To celebrate this event, much less one of those magnificent occasions where a score can completely stand on its own even for people who haven’t seen the film, PopMatters asked Schmidt to name his “Fave Five” film scores. It was a fascinating insight into Schmidt’s cinematic influences, but, does so also with a qualifier:
“It’s hard to narrow down such a broad category into ‘five faves’ without at least a few glaring omissions, ie; Aguirre, Wrath of God, Suspiria, Zabriskie Point, and no John Carpenter—because I couldn’t pick one! So this, as a result, is far from being any kind of comprehensive list. I decided to stick with those film scores that, at least to a larger extent, harken back to a certain “golden age” of the analogue synthesizer—which heavily invaded the soundtrack vernacular of the late 70s and early 80s. Listed here in no particular order ...”