label Cineploit records have launched their latest album with the introduction
of Videogram. Hailing from Sweden, their pre-cert album offers a richly enjoyable mix of 80s-inspired soundtrack scores
and popular VHS culture. (For non-UK readers, the term "pre-cert" refers to the era prior to the implementation of certification standards for VHS releases that went into effect in 1984, thus requiring a seal of approval. The certification process resulted in censored versions of many films being substituted for the original versions.- Ed.) The album begins with the deliciously retro indent
before we’re immersed among a wealth of genre defining tracks ranging from
horror, fantasy, thrillers, police drama and a John Carpenter epic suite.
love of the whole VHS culture period is evident throughout Videogram’s sound;
it’s obviously so much more than just making music, there’s such an intense vibe, it almost clones and
reproduces the environment of the past. It has the ability to transcend and
transports you directly back.
music is hugely enjoyable, with heavy pulsating synths dominating the
proceedings. There is also a rich electronic vein which runs throughout its
tracks and is, of course, so representative of the 70s and in particular, that
warm 80s soundscape. There are some
wonderful standout tracks, in particular ‘Cobretti’ which pulsates with the
subtlety of an ‘industrial Schifrin’, with conventional brass instead being
substituted by metallic crash and thrash. As a new approach, it all works
perfectly well and still captures the flavour of the period. Then of course,
there is the mammoth ‘Man Is the Warmest Place to Hide’, an epic 13 minute nod
towards Carpenter’s "The Thing" (1982). But don’t expect a note for note
rendition, as it is very much a homage
to Carpenter’s environment, it simply drags you into that pre-cert VHS video
world and invites you to sample a flavour, a taste from a cup that we all previously
drank from at one particular place in time.
could be argued that to appreciate this album fully, you perhaps had to live
through that particular era. But with a welcome revival towards all things
retro being very current, I have little doubt this album has widespread appeal.
Boomers will simply lap it up, whilst newbie retro seekers need hardly look for
a better place to begin.
have delivered a polished album with a razor sharp biting edge. Pre-cert allows
them to slither perfectly among the ranks of Cineploit’s already established
stable of artists. It’s an album that demands repeated plays and left me
wanting more. One can only look forward safe in the knowledge that they will
continue to grow and blossom. I have a feeling the best is yet to come.
Cineploit has again produced
a lavish package on their gatefold 180 gram vinyl LP, CD and LP and CD
combinations. For more information, visit their website at http://www.cineploit.com/