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Chateau Flight

Les Vampires

Original Soundtrack

(Versatile; US: 23 Jan 2007; UK: 26 Feb 2007)

Music for the Mute

When was the last time that you saw Feuillade’s pioneering silent serial Les Vampires?  Don’t feel too bad—it was only made 92 years ago.  Yet there’s something genuinely unsettling about the mute pictures of old, and, of course, we can’t let it be.  Following the recent trend of electronic artists scoring silent films for screenings in the UK (the Pet Shop Boys did Battleship Potemkin, believe it or not), small house duo Chateau Flight tackled the classic thriller, and the results are surprising.  Even divorced from the images they accompany, this 40-minute work stands on its own remarkably well, smartly jettisoning aside the notions of both the pop song and tension-filled cinematic score to create a moody, distinct electronic work.  The undeniable highlight is the moody yet pumping track five (all the tracks are without labels), starting off with a terse beat that turns into an electric-guitar freakout half-way through.  Lacking any recurring melodic theme and switching moods quite feverously, the album itself doesn’t have much of an arc, but by the time it gets to the dynamic closing track (which sounds more like a full-band workout than just the work of an electronic duo), you’ll have gone thorough one of the most unnerving yet distinct sonic pleasures that electronic music has to offer.

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Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and multiple national newspapers. Evan has been a guest on WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry, and many others. He is a current member of The Recording Academy and resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


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