REVIEW: Brian J Davis – Original Soundtrack (2008)

Original Soundtrack is a 42 minute ambient behemoth played on 20 DVD players across 20 TVs. At the helm, multimedia artist Brian J Davis with a customized mixer, fading in and out endlessly looping DVD menu audio.

Original Soundtrack captures so well the liminal, undefined space and cold dreamlike quality of televisual media within an audio format. Nothing is quite real. Sonic statements and aesthetics endlessly peel away at each other. Original Soundtrack is where the show is between the channels. It is the under lit lobby in the movie theatre of the mind. What are movies and television other than cold concrete dreams?

Reverb drafts out of the album’s cold and spacious chamber. A uneasy dream of tension and floating rhythms. Relief is ever undercut with the rising unease of another DVD. If you’ve ever wanted to experience a dozen or so movies scrambled into one coherent and beautiful work, Original Soundtrack is for you.

Taken from the Bandcamp listing, Davis comments on the album’s origins:

“In 2008 I was inspired by my partner’s unique cure for insomnia—falling asleep to endlessly looping Werner Herzog DVD menus. Original Soundtrack grew from there into a one hour piece for an orchestra of TVs and looping DVD menus from across genres and film history and was performed live in New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles. A graphic score was used to make it semi-repeatable. but syncing was random, or at best done with stop/start on remote controls.”

The album was remastered in 2020 by JD Davis and released on May 24th, 2020 on Bandcamp where you can listen or purchase it now.

For fans of: Meat Beat Manifesto, Bohren & der Club of Gore, Grouper

Like Original Soundtrack? Give these a listen: András Cséfalvay, Polyphonic Shooting Spree, Sleep Research Facility

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