Geoff Barrow, when not making music with Portishead or BEAK>, makes disquieting soundtrack music with collaborator Ben Salisbury. Their work includes the scores of Alex Garland's 2014 film Ex Machina and Black Mirror episode "Men Against Fire." They've re-teamed with director Alex Garland for his new sci-fi film Annihilation which is loosely based on Jeff VanderMeer's first book in his Southern Reach trilogy. It follows a military/investigative mission, including  Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tessa Thompson, into an area of North Florida that has been infected by something called The Shimmer where mutations abound. The film gets pretty freaky in its last third, and Salisbury and Barrow's score matches its intensity. A four note section of "The Alien" (which is used prominently in the trailer) has taken on a life of its own. From Slate:

Am I the first person to tell you how obsessed I am with this particular musical cue?

Salisbury: You’re not the only one, actually. It seems to have weirdly grabbed people. In fact, I remember way back when we were making the film, people in the editing suite would say they heard people doing this weird little hum, and it was always that same refrain, under their breath.

It’s the only part of our music that’s actually on the trailer. The rest of it is sort of trailer stuff, and then for some reason, they’ve literally just picked that little phrase out, one of the stems from our score, and it seems to have affected people.

You can listen to "The Alien" and the rest of the Annihilation score, along with the film's trailer, below. While the film has its problems, it's also worth seeing (especially in a theater that isn't afraid to turn eh volume up).


Meanwhile, Barrow has formed a new DJ crew called Dads on Drugs. In his announcement, Barrow said, "Anyone can join the crew especially mums and non mums & dads.... but definitely not fuking kids." He then added "Rules of Dads on Drugs Crew" which are "1. FULLY INCLUSIVE TO ANYONE BUT CHILDREN 18+ 2. NO MORE THAN 3 TUNES OF ONE STYLE IN ROW" with "AT LEAST 1 PLAY OF" and then he pasted a link to Dennis Waterman's "I Could Be So Good For You".

While it may seem like a joke, and may have started as such, Dads on Drugs, which also includes Tom Friend of Bristol's Friendly Records, have booked a gig, playing the Port Elliot Festival which happens July 26 - 29 at St. Germans in Cornwall, UK. The festival also features Gwenno (who just made an entire album in Cornish), Baxter Dury, Teleman, and more, as well as readings by Viv Albertine, Billy Bragg, Suede's Brett Anderson, and more.

Dads on Drugs also have t-shirts.


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