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September 26, 2009 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Soundtrackfilter: Please recommend to me mostly-instrumental, sometimes dark, contemplative soundtrack albums (or even compilations or regular albums) in the vein of Michael Andrews' work for Donnie Darko or Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd's soundtrack for Mysterious Skin.

As you might imagine from me citing Donnie Darko, I'm also open to soundtracks with a considerable 80s synth cheese element - even better if the songs are tweaked a bit a la M83 to not be so cheesy. Anything on the brooding <> inspired spectrum is especially welcome. As a point of reference, I very much enjoyed the recent movie Brick and would like to find soundtrack or ambient songs that capture that sort of "pieces fall into place, and it's awesome/terrible" feeling.

Thanks in advance, hivemind! My guess is that anyone with broad exposure to ambient, modern classical, guitar-based instrumental, electronic shoegaze, post-rock, etc. albums is sitting on at least a few recommendations.
posted by Inspector.Gadget to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Juliee Cruise's "Into The Night". Much of it was the soundtrack for Twin Peaks but it is nice and moody, dark...

A Leonard Cohen "Best of" might fit the bill as well, especially with "Everybody Knows", "The Future", etc.
posted by arniec at 9:17 AM on September 26, 2009

Air's Virign Suicides, both the score and the soundtrack.
posted by fire&wings at 9:18 AM on September 26, 2009

George "Fat Man" Stanger's soundtrack for the old computer games 7th Guest/11th Hour is up this alley. Look for his album 7/11, or stop by a collection of remixes, especially the one by George Stanger himself.
posted by persona at 9:25 AM on September 26, 2009

Grizzly Man Soundtrack by Richard Thompson especially main title
posted by canoehead at 9:26 AM on September 26, 2009

Any of the soundtracks by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Including the score for The Road, which isn't out yet.
posted by dogwalker at 9:33 AM on September 26, 2009

Paul Schutze has done a number of soundtracks, and they definitely fit the bill.
posted by jayder at 10:08 AM on September 26, 2009

Not to be Nelly Nitpicky, but there is no "soundtrack" per se for Donny Darko. The only CD released was for the score. I wish they would've also released the soundtrack--the songs they played in the movie were classics! I love the score, though, especially the cover of Mad World.
posted by angiewriter at 10:11 AM on September 26, 2009

Response by poster: angiewriter - doesn't this fit the bill?

Great suggestions so far everyone - please keep them coming!
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 10:14 AM on September 26, 2009

Angelo Badalamenti's soundtrack work with David Lynch definitely comes under the brooding, contemplative category.
posted by merocet at 11:17 AM on September 26, 2009 [3 favorites]

Here's a bunch of suggestions mostly from my recent intake but some older stuff too; not soundtracks but I think they might fit the bill.

Deaf center - pale ravine
The sight below -- glider
Peter Broderick - float
Goldmund - corduroy road
Helios - eingya (same person as goldmund)
Lusine ICL - language barrier
yagya - rigning
windy & carl - songs for the broken hearted, depths (or other stuff of theirs)
Tim Hecker - Harmony in ultraviolet, radio amor (or probably anything else)

It was alluded to above, but the twin peaks soundtrack is something you absolutely must have, if you don't already.

A bunch of these are on type records, you might want to check out that label in general.
posted by advil at 11:18 AM on September 26, 2009

There's the Cliff Martinez parts of "The Limey" which are pensive and kind of creepy (in a good way). I seem to remember the soundtrack to "Little Fishes" being similarly evocative. 80s soundtracks like this may be Stewart Copeland's "Rumble Fish" soundtrack, which has been one of my favorites since it came out.
posted by Red Loop at 11:47 AM on September 26, 2009

Explosions in the Sky composed a whole album of new music for the Friday Night Lights Soundtrack. As they're among the greatest post-rock bands, I think it fits your criteria.
posted by martens at 11:52 AM on September 26, 2009

I've always loved the soundtrack for the movie Kids (mid-90's low-fi movie about teens in NY, if you remember it).

The soundtrack has a few hip hop and indie rock tracks but the majority is instrumental stuff by Folk Implosion, a side project of Sebadoh/Dinosaur Jr's Lou Barlow.
posted by mannequito at 12:22 PM on September 26, 2009

Neil Young's soundtrack for the Jim Jarmusch film "Dead Man." Also worth watching the film if you haven't.
posted by brevator at 12:39 PM on September 26, 2009

I really didn't like the Dead Man soundtrack, though I think that it was affected by my dislike of the movie. The worst Jarmusch ever. I thought it was funny that I didn't like the soundtrack, since I generally like Neil Young.
On the other hand, I usually don't think much of Nick Cave's music, but his soundtrack for "The Proposition" was quite good.
posted by Red Loop at 12:54 PM on September 26, 2009

Brian Eno, dude! He actually collaborated on 2 albums with Harold Budd, and I'd recommend any of his work, even (especially!) the non-ambient albums although they aren't exactly what you're looking for. Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks fits your bill the closest since it was actually made for a specific movie. Music For Films is also a good pick, along with its two sequels. But his two ambient classics are Ambient 1: Music for Airports and Ambient 4: On Land. The former is gentle and contemplative, and the latter is much darker and pretty disturbing at times. I'd also recommend Evening Star and No Pussyfooting, two experimental albums he did with Robert Fripp. They're basically Fripp's guitar, Eno's occasional synths and a shitload of tape loops.

I also recommend these:

DJ Shadow's Endtroducing and Preemptive Strike
anything by Boards of Canada
Mogwai Young Team
Philip Glass's Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 2:33 PM on September 26, 2009

Bear McCreary's scores for all the seasons of Battlestar Galactica are pretty great. You could also try Philip Glass's score to The Fog of War.
posted by just_ducky at 3:54 PM on September 26, 2009

Decoder Ring's soundtrack for Somersault. A sample.
posted by Coaticass at 5:06 PM on September 26, 2009

The Fountain (features Mogwai)
Solaris (another Cliff Martinez work from a Soderbergh film)
posted by puritycontrol at 7:24 PM on September 26, 2009

A Clockwork Orange
posted by knile at 6:46 AM on September 27, 2009

Some of Pell Mell's material might fit this description.

I also love the soundtrack to Me and You and Everyone We Know, which might also hit the spot for you. ThePlaylist has made some samples available for download as part of their Soundtrack Series.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:28 AM on September 27, 2009

Peter Gabriel, The Last Temptation of Christ, has some great atmospheric music with a middle eastern flavor.
posted by Bron at 6:55 PM on September 27, 2009

Thanks for the video advice, my payback if possible is to give you some music suggestions:

Bohren Und Der Club of Gore is awesome seedy jazz background. Sunset Mission is a great first choice of album.

Fantomas has some good instrumental feel, but sometime a little intense for working music.


Rossz csillag alatt sz├╝letett by Venetian Snares is good instrumental.



Explosions in the Sky

Sorry no soundtracks, but this is the stuff I can recommend as what you may be into, enjoy.
posted by occidental at 3:05 PM on October 4, 2009

Oh, and anything by Secret Chiefs 3 but preferably their later albums.
posted by occidental at 3:06 PM on October 4, 2009

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