MP3: Antiviral (2012)

August 14, 2013 | By

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Rating: Excellent

Label: Lakeshore Records/ Released: May 21, 2013

Tracks & Album Length: 21 tracks / (42:28)

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Special Notes: Digital album only.

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Composer: E.C. Woodley

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Review:

In addition to performance, sound design, and experimental projects, E.C. Woodley’s been scoring films short and long since an apprenticeship with Michael Kamen on Brazil (1985), and his latest work – Antiviral for cousin Brandon Cronenberg – features an arresting and hypnotic melding of organic and digital sounds.

It takes a little while to settle into the score’s slow-burning groove, but Woodley’s written a discrete and engaging immersion into the younger Cronenberg’s own brand of surreal horror.

Basically built around four alternating notes initially heard on soft keyboard, Woodley quickly strips down his quartet of resonating tonalities into saturated bass chords, and gradually layers in fuzzy pulses and synth drones, with an intermittent cello that’s been enhanced to sound neither organic nor synthetic.

The score’s most affecting quality is the way tones and soft textures seem to breathe, and no matter how much the electronic elements may distort, they’re all kept in a range that’s weirdly soothing. Not unlike the work of Cliff Martinez (Solaris), there’s a dreamy quality to the whole creation, with no sharp edges or dynamic shocks, and while ostensibly a work of electronic minimalism, the score offers a fair amount of emotional scope.

Connoisseurs of melded sonics will relish the balance of moods, and the sleek way Woodley’s motifs seem to breathe, be it oscillating tones and flanging brass–like drones which come close to saturated feedback (“Syd, Hannah, Needles”); or the beats of the piano theme which become lumbering percussion hits in the film’s dream sequences.

The album’s running time is very satisfying, but after a couple of spins one kind of wishes this digital album not only existed on CD, but as a special DTS album with longer versions, giving the listener more than an hour to be fully immersed in the clinically deranged world of Antivirus.

An interview with composer E.C. Woodley is also available.

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© 2013 Mark R. Hasan

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External References:

IMDB — Film Review —  Soundtrack AlbumComposer Filmography

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Select Merchants:

Amazon.ca Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk — BSX — Intrada — SAE

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