Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2022 October 17 • Monday

Tangerine Dream's score for the classic vampire movie Near Dark is our 748th Soundtrack of the Week.

It starts with a synth rock number called “Caleb’s Blues”, which has a nice groove, a very ‘80s sound and a good melody.

This is followed by a moody and atmospheric piece, “Pick Up at High Noon”, which begins with Vangelis-like cloudy textures before shifting into a sparse, drum-driven, alternatingly edgy and ethereal synth melody.

Snarling and distorted synth lines add further tension to an already ominous feeling in “Rain in the Third House”, which also finds an engaging electro-percussive groove that acts as a foundation for some nice chords and lyrical figures.

“Bus Station (incl. Mae’s Theme”), starts dreamily but with a loud, deep, resonant, throbbing percussion hit that cycles not quite regularly, eventually augmented by something sounding a bit like tabla. Synths and keyboards bring a harmonic shape and then about halfway through, the rhythm part is gone to be replaced by a different feel together, a pretty melody with the synths trying out some flute settings.

After that it’s time to rock out with “Goodtimes”, an energetic backbeat urging on wailing synth-guitar lines.

The next track, “She’s My Sister (Resurrection 1)”, starts with a shadowy mood and synth pads fading in and out. It finds a tense kind of propulsive groove and holds it for a while as different notes and chords hover above it. Then it switched to a slower, more pensive with some restrained playing atop a repeating triplet.

Some big open chords, major and minor, announce that “Mae Comes Back”, and the feeling is moving and uplifting, with an angelic upper register synth line as the focus.

“Father and Son (Resurrection 2)” is a tenser, more ominous piece, again with a cool synth rhythm track and very composed and controlled keyboard work on top.

The next cue, “Severin Dies”, is an errie and effective bit of dramatic underscore, holding itself back for the first half, which has as almost as much space as sound, but then exploding into action and horror for the second half.

The same approach was used for “Fight at Dawn”, though instead of a quick jump from mood to another, it builds gradually from a quiet, spacious piece to a rhythmically dense number with a pulsating feel and notes and chords stabbing out at the listener while a dreamy melody floats by.

Finally there’s “Mae’s Transformation”, similar to “Mae Comes Back” but with greater emotional weight and an added sadness to it.