Chateau Flight

Les Vampires

by Evan Sawdey

19 April 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.

Les Vampires



We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times. Thanks everyone.

//Mixed media

Violin Virtuoso L. Subramaniam Mesmerizes in Rare New York Performance (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.

READ the article