Death & Vanilla – The Tennant

I pre-ordered this album from Bandcamp and it arrived today, as far as I can tell it is already sold out and is for sale for £50 on Discogs. I ordered it a while ago and I think it was £16.99. It’s the soundtrack for Roman Polanski’s ‘film ‘The Tennant’ which was originally scored by Philippe Sarde, this release sees Death And Vanilla reimagine the film’s soundtrack four decades on for a new audience.

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The albums blurb says: The haunting instrumental is a foreboding piece of dark and cinematic avant-garde music that’s alienated, lonely and melancholic. Moments of hallucination and delusion mirror the lead character Trelovsky. 

Recorded in 2015 at Cinemascore festival in Spain alongside a two-hour performance and screening of psychological thriller ‘The Tenant’ (1976). With the band at their most minimal, the accomplished musicians once again bring the dark narrative to life with their expansive and ethereal noir sound. The recording features them as a trio – Marleen Nilsson (Farfisa Compact), Anders Hansson (Hagstrom Kent, Roland SP-404 and Technics SL-1200) and Magnus Bodin (Moog Prodigy and Musser M55). 

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The album was recorded live, the music played as the film was shown to an audience. It’s not the first re-imagined soundtrack they’ve performed live, ‘Vampyr’ was and it is really good, as is this, It really is very dark, brooding and rather claustrophobic at times, which is appropriate for the film I believe, although I’ve never seen it. The original soundtrack was not really well thought of so this is presumably and upgrade. I suppose I should watch the film.
In Paris, the shy bureaucrat Trelkovsky rents an old apartment without bathroom where the previous tenant, the Egyptologist Simone Choule, committed suicide. The unfriendly concierge (Shelley Winters) and the tough landlord Mr. Zy establish stringent rules of behaviour and Trelkovsky feels ridden by his neighbours. Meanwhile he visits Simone in the hospital and befriends her girlfriend Stella. After the death of Simone, Trelkovsky feels obsessed for her and believes his landlord and neighbours are plotting a scheme to force him to also commit suicide.

Tracklist

A1 Le Locataire – Intro
A2 Zy And Choule
A3 Church Music
A4 Walls Have Teeth
A5 Labyrinthe
A6 Mouvement Panique
A7 Free Design Kung-Fu
B1 “Do You Have Any Trouble With Your Neighbors?”
B2 “If You Cut Off My Head, What Do I Say? Me And My Head Or Me And My Body?”
B3 Dioz Delirium
B4 Everything Is Always Happening
B5 Solitaire
B6 The Bouncing Head
B7 Music Box – Outro
I am completely biased to be truthful as I love all of Death And Vanilla’s output, and own pretty much every vinyl record they have released and this one very much has they’re sound, although lacking vocals, and it is their sound that I like, the atmospheres and moods they create, it’s there still, perhaps more so than Vampyr.
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I appreciate that this won’t be for everyone but for me – Rating: 9.1

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