Liam Young’s The Machine Air represents a landmark in cinema due to it being the first film to be recorded by flying drones. Forest Swords (Matthew Barnes), then, is an intriguing choice to soundtrack the movie. While electronics and experimentation have long been a part of the project’s music, much of Forest Swords’ previous releases have had a distinctly old-world, almost ancient, sensibility to them - more marching into battle than march of progress.
Unsurprisingly, his music here is more gestural than the stomping, often rather ceremonial-sounding music of his studio LPs. Barnes pulls his sounds apart in a manner that recalls recent OST work by Clark, his electronic and organic instruments set out to create widescreen ambient vistas or little kernels of rhythm.
In fact, it is the tension between the past and the future that gives Barnes’ score for The Machine Air such potency. While droid-like synths gurgle and sputter, the interjection of chilly guitars or reverb-drenched keyboards provide the music with an on-edge quality that feels decidedly animalistic. These sounds conjure a similarly primal feeling to the whispering, pensive music of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s score for The Revenant or the recent screenwork of Nick Cave & Warren Ellis.
Forest Swords ushers us into a world of frosty, abstract cyberpunk in his score for Liam Young’s groundbreaking movie The Machine Air.
Digital Track List
- 1 Taking Off 3:12 Buy
- 2 Swarm 2:46 Buy
- 3 Do Drones Go to Heaven? 3:03 Buy
- 4 The Textile Factory 2:23 Buy
- 5 Civilians 3:16 Buy
- 6 Open Water, Looking Down 2:48 Buy
- 7 Lithium Pool 2:19 Buy
- 8 Lithium Pool (Reprise) 0:31 Buy
- 9 Police 2:18 Buy
- 10 Target Night Vision 3:41 Buy
- 11 Dust Settle 1:12 Buy
- 12 Medic Drop 1:56 Buy
- 13 Heatseeking 2:30 Buy
- 14 Battery Power Down 3:02 Buy