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Lucrecia Dalt pays tribute to decades of innovative horror score-making with an eerie analog-focused accompaniment to Sam Walker’s gory “The Seed”. Seriously atmospheric modern genre fare that gives welcome nods to John Carpenter, Basil Kirchin, Goblin, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and waves of video nasty-era DIY synthesists.
Modern horror scores are rarely a match for their low-budget predecessors, but Lucricia Dalt’s full-length accompaniment to “The Seed” is a rare exception to the rule. The movie itself is director Sam Walker’s feature debut, and falls somewhere between a gore flick and an alien invasion movie, hinging around the toxicity of modern influencer culture. Dalt smartly harks back to the gore and sci-fi cannon, finding a sweet spot between the Radiophonic Workshop’s ‘Quatermass’ and Doctor Who treatments, John Carpenter’s genre-defining ‘Assault on Precinct 13′, and Martin Cooper and David A. Hughes’ iconic “C.H.U.D.” soundtrack – she uses nostalgic tropes like an Instagram filter, skewering them periodically for dramatic effect.
The Colombian sound artist is clearly a keen listener as well as a gifted producer, and spikes her tracks with references without descending into pastiche. ‘Venutian Offspring’ is a slithering analog synth-led monster that embodies the film’s creepy premise, firing celestial abstractions into well-trodden clouds of oscillating drone. ‘Blob on the Lawn’ is lighter, utilising brittle beatbox echoes and a brassy Carpenter-esque bassline to bring vintage sci-fi sounds into a lighter, more self-referential framework. On ‘They Shoot Horses’ and ‘Blob Lands’, Dalt uses plucked strings and sampled rhythms to echo Basil Kirchin-era library sounds, dipping into “Suspiria”-era Goblin bleakness on tracks like ‘Meat Carpet’ and ‘Chasing Heather’.
But its when Dalt diverts to more personal sounds that she really transcends: ‘Anabolic Alien’ modernizes the Radiophonic/Raymond Scott axis, disrupting familiarity with loping rhythms and fuzz’d tape noise, echoing her ace “No era sólida” modes; ‘Alien Lullaby’ bounces synth blips off corroded throbs and unnerving pads; and ‘Pink Pool’ dunks vocal swipes in bassy oscillations that’ll have the hairs on the back of yer neck twitching.
More than just a collection of quirky cues, ‘The Seed’ plays like a frothy brain-dump or mixtape, with sketches, symphonies and tributes coalescing into and album that balances terror and beauty masterfully.