Review: Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman's 1998 movie Troma's War has become something of a cult classic; a trashy, violence-heavy "wilderness shoot-em-up" that's frequently described as "so bad it's good". Chris DeMarco's synthesizer-heavy soundtrack - all elongated chords, gentle drum machine rhythms, vaguely Balearic synth-funk workouts, eyes-closed guitar solos and humid, tribal-influenced interludes - is undoubtedly the film's strongest selling point. Here it gets issued for the first time on any format, with Ship to Shore giving it the deluxe, coloured vinyl treatment. While it's undoubtedly exceedingly silly in places (this was the 1980s, after all, and it was a low budget movie), there are enough moments of genius to suggest that it should be added to your collection.
Review: Talk to anyone about Stranger Things and it will only be a matter of minutes before the sensational soundtrack is mentioned. The future retro synths of Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein have a huge impact on deepening the occult feelings you experience when watching the show and that continued through Series 3. Now you can grab the accompanying tracks on neon pink vinyl, which features the vulnerable "You're A Fighter", celebratory 80s synth pop stomps of "Starcourt" and meditative charms of "The Ceiling Is Beautiful" amongst other nuggets of gold. The producers themselves have said this is less a score and more a series of cues, and it certainly got us thinking.
Review: There's no doubt that this brilliant, synthesizer-heavy soundtrack played a key part in the success of Netflix's deliciously odd thriller, Stranger Things. Written and performed by Survive members Kyle Dixon and Michael Steen, it has the right balance between John Carpenter style creepiness, Vangelis-like melodiousness, and the cinematic feel of classic movie soundtrack material. Happily, the streaming behemoth has decided to release two volumes of musical highlights from the series, beginning with this first volume. It's testament to the quality of the Texas-based duo's work that those who've not seen the series should still enjoy it. This is atmospheric, clandestine electronic music of the highest order. Moody, immersive, and reminiscent of the best material from the 1980s.
Review: Hot on the heels of volume one, Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein present a second selection of tracks composed for the soundtrack of Netflix's acclaimed weirdo-thriller, Strangest Things. As with the first edition, the 39 highlighted compositions are built around the duo's obsession with vintage analogue synthesizers and drum-computers, including the Granddaddy of the lot, the pioneering Fairlight "computer musical instrument" (check the woozy CMI choral samples on "I Know What I Saw"). Even if you've not seen the series, the music stands on its own; for proof, check out the ghostly ambience of "Crying", the tightly-wound creepiness of "Danger Danger", and the glistening, sun-kissed bliss of "Talking To Australia".