After Mess, you might have thought you’d never hear from the Angus Andrew / Aaron Hemphill line-up of Liars ever again, but get this: they also created some soundtrack work for Jeremy Phillips’ film 1/1 before they parted ways, and now we can hear it. Their material is so extremely powerful that Phillips even recut parts of the film around it! Out from Mute.
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Alright, so 1/1: it, uh, I mean, it’s a film, and it’s certainly about something. Skipping the usual game of Wikipedia Intel, I’ll simply say that Jeremy Phillips’ film provided ample opportunity for Liars fans to get excited: in this bristling score lies the final music Angus Andrew and Aaron Hemphill would make together before the latter’s departure from the band.
The duo apparently attached themselves to the project due to the film’s heavy, terse vibe, responding with music in kind: the usual sublimation of chaos and violence is evident in a soundtrack of quiet, lurching noise, the pieces impressionistic vignettes of what might be larger, longer Liars songs for a recent record. Chrome-coloured drones squirm next to the usual swampy beats: tunes like “Cause By the Pitch” sound like an abstraction of something that might be written for a chase scene. At other moments, Liars lean into their warmer, more introspective selves, with “The Jelling Ship” offering a gorgeous snow globe ambience alongside train-track beats, recalling the precise soundscaping of Tor Lundvall.
It’s obvious that these two guys brought out the best in each other, challenging each other to make new music out of well-worn sound palettes: few bands would make “Drastic Tastic” the way this iteration of Liars do, taking a harsh noise framework and using it merely as dressing, the song opening up into an intriguing rotation of field recordings, broken rythmns and electronic residue. It makes me wish they were always soundscaping, because they're very good at it indeed.
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- 1/1 (Original Soundtrack) by Liars
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