HTRK - Over The Rainbow LP
Label: Boomkat Editions
Release Date: January 10th, 2020
Edition of 500.
The mighty HTRK follow-up their recent Venus in Leo album with Over The Rainbow, their debut soundtrack for Jeremy Piexoto's 2019 Scientology documentary. A rare and unexpected all-instrumental showreel by the shoegaze pop duo, their suite of original music is testament to a haunting soul that's long lurked under the hood of their singular, hugely evocative sound. Effectively a sort of dream come true for HTRK's legion disciples, the soundtrack strips away their signature vocals and drum machines in a commission to fit the mood of Piexoto's feature – a film that seeks to better understand Scientology through a range of perspectives, from psychologists to former members.
HTRK use their considerable knack for conjuring haunting, heavy-lidded feels and ohrwurm hooks to map the mood, deploying a trademark, incisive sense of detachment that colors the film's intersection of real beliefs and ideas of Scientology as a sect. In the absence of Jonnine Standish's vocals and Nigel Yang's 808 boom, HTRK's musick is pared to its essence of synths, guitars and electronics and painted in hazy, illusive strokes from a palette of smudged pastels mutual to both South California and the band's native Australia. The result is a 13 part mosaic tiling hazy blue cues with aqueous ambient pads and baroque themes, playing out like the atmospheric strokes to LA noir in a way that silhouettes the film's probing narrative and rhetoric and also reflects its fascination with American culture and the supernatural in a similar way to Eno's ambient classics or Lynch flicks and their scores.
Ultimately Over The Rainbow is an instant play-it-again entry to HTRK's catalog, one that supplies a sort of crystal ball window onto their practice and most subtly illuminates the duo's masterful control of tonal sensitivity and floating, chamber-like composition. RIYL: classic ambient music from the likes of Pinkcourtesyphone, Gigi Masin, AFX, Eno.