Dean Hurley: Anthology Resource Vol. 1: △△

Publicity photo via Bandcamp

The Twin Peaks soundtrack collection exposes a key architect for one of the most daring shows of all time.

Dean Hurley

Anthology Resource Vol. 1: △△

Label: Sacred Bones
US Release Date: 2017-08-06

In 2001, David Lynch was burned by the experience of Mulholland Drive, a feature film he salvaged from a rejected television show pilot. For his next project, Lynch tried liberating himself from the studio system by switching to the outdated, low-resolution MiniDV format to shoot the underwhelming Inland Empire. Though the film was brimming with his signature hypnagogic weirdness, it was nonetheless watered down, and Lynch has since said it was his last film.

Then rumors that Lynch was rebooting his cult television show Twin Peaks were confirmed. The auteur’s first major work in a decade, Twin Peaks: The Return is more of a sprawling 18-hour film as opposed to a traditional TV show with tidy episodic arcs.

Aside from his longtime composing partner, Angelo Badalamenti, the new series reveals Lynch’s expanded musical cohort, including a host of bands that play at the end of many episodes. These were selected with the help of Dean Hurley, the series’ music director and sound supervisor. In addition, Hurley has composed numerous drone works that slot into the series’ more expressive sections, collected in Anthology Resource Volume 1: ∆∆.

Twin Peaks is far from Hurley’s first gig with Lynch. The multi-instrumentalist has worked with the director since 2005, including sound work for Inland Empire and several of the director’s musical ventures like Crazy Clown Time and The Big Dream. An accomplished producer in his own right, Hurley has worked with Lykke Li, Dirty Beaches, Zola Jesus (also on Anthology’s Sacred Bones), and the Veils (a featured band in the new season).

Hurley’s work on “Night Electricity Theme”, “Shanghai Mysterioso” and “Weighted Room / Choral Swarm” recalls the minimalist scapes of Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow’s Ex Machina and Black Mirror: Men Against Fire; Mica Levi’s Under the Skin; Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ soundtracks; and Reznor’s Quake. “Eastern European Symphonic Mood No. 1” seems a nod to Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, whose music appears in the reboot. These pieces are among the most successful when they’re divorced from the show and serve to anchor the collection. Fans of Badalamenti will find comfortable ground here.

Anthology is less a soundtrack and more an audio pool -- a resource for the series, as its title points out. Many of the tracks are quite skeletal, some running under a minute in duration, and provide a glimpse into the show’s post-production process. Anthology also evokes the neglected art of Foley sound recording, where sound effects are recreated using common household materials. Tracks like “Low Sustained Mystery”, “Tube Wind Dream”, two “Electricity” compositions, and “Black Box” are essentially sound effects to lay in under a scene as opposed to songs in the traditional sense. “Slow One Chord Blues (Interior)” is the album’s most superfluous, consisting of a minute-long bass thrum one hears when a band is playing down the block.

Let’s not forget that without music, there would be no David Lynch. The director’s music has remained consistent throughout his cinematic career, with eerie drone soundscapes, languid chamber jazz, and sentimental post-war Americana crucially amplifying his surreal imagery. Hurley is firmly entrenched in Lynch’s musical ecosystem and provides exactly the vibe the show is going for. As solitary music, Anthology’s drones are sparse and sometimes monotonous, but as unsettling sonic beds meant to conjure a sense of dread, the collection delivers. At the very least, the collection puts Dean Hurley on the map for Twin Peaks fans, exposing a key architect for one of the most daring shows of all time.





By the Book

Jack Halberstam's 'Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire' (excerpt)

Enjoy this excerpt of Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire, wherein Jack Halberstam offers an alternative history of sexuality by tracing the ways in which wildness has been associated with queerness and queer bodies throughout the 20th century.

Jack Halberstam

Sotto Voce's 'Your Husband, the Governor' Is Beautifully Twisted DIY Indie Folk-rock

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Gabos releases another odd, gorgeous home studio recording under the moniker Sotto Voce.


Numün's 'voyage au soleil' Is a Trippy, Ambient Ride and Ambitious Debut

Eclectic instrumental trio numün combine a wealth of influences to create a vibe that's both spacey and earthy on voyage au soleil.


L7's 'Smell the Magic' Is 30 and Packs a Feminist Punch

Abortion is under threat again, and there's a sex offender in the Oval Office. A fitting time, in short, to crank up the righteously angry vocals of feminist hard rock heavy hitters like L7.


Can Queer Studies Rescue American Universities?

Matt Brim's Poor Queer Studies underscores the impact of poorer disciplines and institutions, which often do more to translate and apply transformative intellectual ideas in the world than do their ivory-tower counterparts.


Jim White Offers a "Smart Ass Reply" (premiere)

Jesus and Alice Cooper are tighter than you think, but a young Jim White was taught to treat them as polar opposites. Then an eight-track saved his soul and maybe his life.


Ed Harcourt Paints From 'Monochrome to Colour'

British musician Ed Harcourt's instrumental music is full of turbulent swells and swirls that somehow maintain a dignified beauty on Monochrome to Colour.


West London's WheelUP Merges Broken Beat and Hip-Hop on "Stay For Long" (premiere)

West London producer WheelUP reached across the pond to Brint Story to bring some rapid-fire American hip-hop to his broken beat revival on "Stay For Long".


PM Picks Playlist 4: Stellie, The Brooks, Maude La​tour

Today's playlist features the premiere of Stellie's "Colours", some top-class funk from the Brooks, Berne's eco-conscious electropop, clever indie-pop from Maude Latour, Jaguar Jonze rocking the mic, and Meresha's "alien pop".


Plattetopia: The Prefabrication of Utopia in East Berlin

With the fall of the Berlin Wall came the licence to take a wrecking ball to its nightmare of repression. But there began the unwritten violence of Die Wende, the peaceful revolution that hides the Oedipal violence of one order killing another.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


Electrosoul's Flõstate Find "Home Ground" on Stunning Song (premiere)

Flõstate are an electrosoul duo comprised of producer MKSTN and singer-songwriter Avery Florence that create a mesmerizing downtempo number with "Home Ground".


Orchestra Baobab Celebrate 50 Years with Vinyl of '​Specialist in All Styles'

As Orchestra Baobab turn 50, their comeback album Specialist in All Styles gets a vinyl reissue.


Hot Chip Stay Up for 'Late Night Tales'

Hot Chip's contribution to the perennial compilation project Late Night Tales is a mixed bag, but its high points are consistent with the band's excellence.


The Budos Band Call for Action on "The Wrangler" (premiere)

The Budos Band call on their fans for action with the powerful new track "The Wrangler" that falls somewhere between '60s spy thriller soundtrack and '70s Ethiojazz.


Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" Ruminates on Our Second-Guesses (premiere)

A deep reflection on breaking up, Nashville indie rock/Americana outfit Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" is the most personal track from their new album, Home Team.


For Don DeLillo, 'The Silence' Is Deafening

In Don DeLillo's latest novel, The Silence, it is much like our post-pandemic life -- everything changed but nothing happened. Are we listening?


Brett Newski Plays Slacker Prankster on "What Are You Smoking?" (premiere)

Is social distancing something we've been doing, unwittingly, all along? Brett Newski pulls some pranks, raises some questions in "What Are You Smoking?".

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.