Review Summary: A soundtrack with a very indie vibe for an indie documentary about indie video games.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Sometime last summer, on one of those nights when I would just lie awake until my entire body was sore from the stillness, I dragged myself out of bed and I watched a documentary I nabbed off of iTunes earlier that day. I was fairly hesitant and figured I would just check out the first ten minutes or so, but little did I know I would end up sitting through the near two hour film. The instant the picture started and Jim Guthrie’s score hit, I was captivated. At 3 AM, when the film had ended and the last note was played, I was nearly in tears and ready to watch again.
This hour long (plus some) soundtrack manages a lot within the film, whether it’s simply setting a scene or revealing an interviewee’s deepest flaws and vulnerabilities. However, the most important thing it does, is keep the listener’s/viewer’s attention. If I ever found myself bored or uninterested with what was being said in the film, which was a rare occurrence, I would just focus a little more on the score. The score essentially keeps things interesting when they become a bit too tedious.
The sound itself is very intriguing. Anyone that has seen an indie film before knows that the soundtrack creates this really particular atmosphere that tries so hard to make pull you into the film and in most cases, they fail, not necessarily because of the soundtrack, but usually because the movie is bad. With the Indie Game score, Guthrie applies that niche indie film atmosphere to indie rock inspired electronic music. There is a lot of mingling of indie media here that you’d think it would get tiresome quick, but it’s all so well structured and tied together that it works out very well. Perfectly, even, at times.
Despite all that it does for the film, as a stand-alone album, it requires a lot of patience to listen to in one sitting. It may be able to keep Phil Fish destroying his retina with seizure inducing animations interesting, but don’t expect to this to help you chill or even be helpful background music while you work. The flow and sequencing aren’t all terrible, but once you get past the twenty minute mark, you’ll likely be ready to listen to something else. Guthrie himself suggested breaking it into a few smaller playlists, and I would recommend the same. It makes it a far more enjoyable listen.
Overall, this is a fairly solid release that’s worth the price any way you buy it, whether you go all out and order the vinyl or you just feel okay with getting the digital download, you’re getting your money’s worth. The people who watched the film will more than likely love this, but fans of electronic music could probably find a good amount of tracks to add to their playlists as well.