Ever since John Carpenter recorded one of the most eminent piano phrases in OST history, horror film soundtracks became much more than a mere establishment of terror. The primary responsibility of horror OSTs is to create an appropriate vibe, of course, but pioneering composers like Carpenter proved that this task may be completed with the simultaneous intention of crafting an album worth listening to in its own right; one that references the scenes of its film due to its dark, textured atmospheres. It Follows – currently this year’s best horror film – provides an excellent example of this, as Disasterpeace (aka Rich Vreeland) penned an extremely unnerving soundtrack that doubles as one of the best electronic albums of the year as well. Such is the case with L’Enfant de la Forêt‘s recent project Abraxas, albeit without the accompanying feature film. While James Kent is known for his retrofuturism work under the pseudonym Perturbator, what listener’s will discover on Abraxas is an entirely different experience:
Over the course of Abraxas‘ fifteen tracks, it is difficult not to yearn for a film to match the sounds that Kent has conjured. Comparable to artists like The Haxan Cloak, Abraxas‘ haze of synths, strings and phantasmal noises plays out as a musical journey that ventures through a wide spectrum of human emotion, not all of which are entirely negative and terrifying. Additionally, many of the album’s drum and synth timbres take on a trip-hop flair, channeling Massive Attack‘s most dismal moments. Indeed, everything on Abraxas sets the stage for a horror film, even its cover. The careful placement of a lightning bolt and clouds trace the silhouette of an enormous being, reaching through the screen with the intention of consuming the listener. It is to the listener’s benefit that the music which this cover adorns provides that same experience in sonic form.