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Scarlet Diva (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)

John Hughes

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Album Review

John Hughes' first disc under his own name, the soundtrack to the Asia Argento film Scarlet Diva is a broody and pensive concoction of many styles. Those familiar with Hughes' earlier work in Chicago post-rock project Bill Ding will not be surprised to find the pastiche of electro, acoustic folk, free jazz, and ambient noise present on this record. The disc is a bit characteristic of his Bill Ding output because ex-Bill Ding member Dan Snazelle lends a hand, as do Tortoise's John McEntire and Scott Herren (aka Savath and Savalas). Hughes has a brilliant gift for arranging vocals and electro-acoustic instrumentation and creating a beautifully narcotic effect. His own voice has great depth and at times he seems to be able to sing in slow motion (a useful tool for his style of recording). While many artists fail miserably when combining a number of genres into one record, Hughes' compositions are so mobile that they have the potential to travel in any direction. And, be it jazz, rock, techno, or folk, they can switch on a dime. Hughes relies on the intelligent and intentional clumsiness that was so much a part of his former incarnation but follows this new cinematic vision so closely that it only slightly resembles a Bill Ding record. Hypnotic and brilliant.

Scarlet Diva (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture), John Hughes
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