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An Ambush of Ghosts


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  • In perhaps the only logical development, after years of having their music described as imaginary soundtracks, the Humberstones were approached by a film crew that wanted them to create the music for the titular product. Quite ironically, the film itself, a psychological thriller starring such now well-known names as Stephen Dorff, Anne Heche, and David Arquette, has never in fact been released, even on video. Thankfully, the soundtrack is another matter. As it happens, the album is not in fact a wholly original composition, but at the request of the filmmakers, reworks a number of pieces from Sense and Duality under new titles. The most striking change made by the Humberstones here, originally suggested by the film's music coordinator, was to include trained classical musicians -- Jill Crowther on oboe and Catherine Bassill on cello -- to add to the otherwise all-electronic arrangements. While the effect is subtle -- a tribute to how sophisticated ITN's technology has grown over time -- the blending still adds a certain warmth to many tracks that is quite welcome. On the whole, Ambush is quite subdued at many points, quite possibly reflecting a real need to accentuate a scene instead of dominating it (and without the original film to compare it to, who can say?). Pieces like "Cop Shed" are actually quite un-ITN like, favoring drones instead of the crisp lushness normally expected; unsurprisingly, many songs are carried solely by piano and backing sonic textures, with many low rumbling tones and samples from the film's dialogue accentuating the dark beauty of the soundtrack. The shuffling hip-hop beat and gently haunting keyboards of "Hallucinations?" end this quite fine album well, also look to future projects as Les Jumeaux. ~ Ned Raggett
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