Quiet Village - Silent Movie
What do you get when you stick together Matt "Radio Slave" Edwards and record collector-cum-Shaun of the Dead soundtrack supervisor, Joel Martin? (The two, so the legend goes, bonded in a car on their way to a Metalheadz gig.) The answer is the rather uncatchily named Quiet Village. As the album title, Silent Movie, hints, these compositions often feel like they belong with some long forgotten film. Indeed, most (all?) of the elements sampled here come from a collection of BBC library records Joel bought for forty quid; in retrospect, definitely not a bad investment.
Kicking off with Victoria's Secret, a soft-focus piece of easy-listening unafraid to incorporate the sound of seagulls calling and waves crashing, the record's main point of controversy is immediately apparent: the more kitsch aspects at times seem overdone. Circus of Horror, to continue, has good 70s exploitation guitar, but the hammy cackling represents a somewhat over-egging of the pudding. The cod-reggae of Pacific Rhythm is none too pleasing either.
That said, when the duo steer clear of cheese, the odd juxtapositions and conjured atmospheres are impressive. Free Rider, for example, interrupts dreamy chill-out with a guitar part to fit an Argento murder scene. It is an excellent triple whammy late in the album that makes this worthy of a summer stint on your iPod, however. Can't Be Beat combines Pearly Spencer strings, a disco beat and an unsettling slowed down voice; Gold Rush blends twangy acoustic guitar, the-Injuns-are-coming drums and a distant soft rock vocal; and the Balearic sunset tension in Singing Sand is enough to send shivers down the spine of anyone who has ever taken a seat in Café Del Mar.