Review: Primitive London – Original Soundtrack

Trunk Records

Here’s a real treat for fans of off-kilter movie soundtracks – the scores to two movies by experimental musician Basil Kirchin.

While British Mondo movie Primitive London gets most of the attention here, the bulk of the CD is actually taken up with Kirchin’s score for the long-lost 1971 gangster film The Freelance. The two scores are different enough to stand out as separate entities, but clearly the work of the same man – they manage to combine nicely, and are unlike anything you’ve heard before.

Primitive London features, for the most part, variations on a theme – a weirdly catchy, strangely discordant tune that perfectly captures the rather parochial yet strangely exotic contents of the movie itself (a must-see, by the way). It also features some weirdly unsettling pieces and is perfect for listening to in the dark, ideally at the point somewhere between being awake and falling asleep – it’ll create strange images in your head.

The Freelance offers wilder stuff, with free-form jazz and mad experimentation that floats into catchy little tunes and back out again during some extended workouts. Astounding stuff.

The CD comes with an 8 pages booklet in which Jonny Trunk explains the torturous experience of locating the masters and the visuals for the CD, while the guys from the BFI’s Flipside pay homage to the film itself.

Deliriously twisted – much like the film itself – this CD is classic stuff – snap it up!