Warp Records may have taken a gamble by releasing a soundtrack to a movie most people won’t see, but “Morvern Callar” will be known for this very soundtrack alone. The film is not at all about broken condoms and dirty needles, though one might be fooled upon first listen. Without seeing where the music is used, it’s quite easy to envision scenes of pure, unadulterated debauchery backed by every song. But maybe that’s just me.
Lacking focus as a compilation, “Morvern Callar” as a soundtrack is quite a diverse and momentous experience – at its very worst, it is excellent movie music. For starters, psych rock legends Can contribute two of the more flirtatious tracks, along with their collaborator Holger Czukay, whose “Cool in the Pool” stirs uneasiness with its pimp-like qualities.
Master reggae and dub pioneer Lee “Scratch” Perry, Ween and The Velvet Underground are also included, along with an entire track of authentic gamelan drumming. Aphex Twin appears at the top and bottom of the album, more notably with “Goon Gumpas,” which is perfect for dancing around in your underwear to.
Tracks from Boards of Canada (“Everything You Do Is a Balloon”) and Stereolab put a contemplative and airy spin on the otherwise copulative mood. Broadcast’s “You Can Fall” is pure, beautiful psychedelic-electronic that joins these artists’ company well. Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra are the two most unlikely characters to please beat heads, but “Some Velvet Morning” has the motion that crate diggers like.
If all this doesn’t convince you to buy the album or see the movie, how about noting the seven U.K. Academy Award nods? And when is the last time you danced in your underwear?
[ Mr. Bell will dance in his underwear for… fuck, never mind… ]