Talkhouse Weekend Playlist: Kit Sebastian’s Imaginative Soundtracks

The duo draw on their love of old soundtracks to take us on a tour from Azerbaijan to England.

Kit Sebastian is Kit Martin and Merve Erdem. The duo make music between their homelands of France and Turkey, incorporating French, Turkish, and English lyrics. Their debut record, Mantra Moderne, features sounds of Anatolian psychedelia, Brazilian Tropicalia, and even some ’60s European pop. Their 2021 follow-up, Melodi, continues this journey drawing from their love of vintage records and old cinema. In this playlist, we get a glimpse into some of those influences. Enjoy!
—Keenan Kush, Talkhouse Director of Operations

This is a playlist on the theme of sonically imaginative soundtracks. It contains soundtracks from Azerbaijan to England.

Mobil Babayev — Babamizin Babasinin Babasi
We know nothing of the film this comes from, apart from that it’s a comedy set in a traditional Azerbaijan village. The soundtrack, however, has a beautiful theme played by a synth, accompanied by a typical (of this time in soundtracks of the Soviet Union) orchestral accompaniment.

Volodymyr Bystriakov — Alice Through The Looking Glass (Music For Animated Television Film), 1982
Despite not seeing the film, we can imagine the atmosphere of it. The soundtrack has a playfulness and one of the most imaginative instrumentations we know of. With strange synthesizers unknown to Western audiences, harpsichords and a chamber orchestra, it presents a reality which is strangely pastoral but also otherworldly.

Basil Kirchin — Primitive London
Basil Kirchin here presents one of the sleaziest soundtracks, mixing electronic sounds with a jazz band. However, there is something more to this sleaze, a communication of depth and loneliness within a city’s nocturnal life.

Arthur Honneger — “L’idee”
Often thought to be the first (partially) electronic soundtrack, this one is interesting as the role it plays is stronger than most soundtracks — perhaps due to it being a silent film. It follows the life of an abstract idea, represented on screen as a glowing person, but also represented in the music by the Ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument.

Zdeněk Liška — “The Ossuary”
The abstraction of 20th-century European classical music is expressed within jazz, prompting us to question how much of the music is written and how much is improvised.

Ennio Morricone — “Matto, Caldo, Soldi, Morto… Girotondo” [from Vergogna Schifosi (Colonna Sonora Originale Del Film)]
Perhaps the finest Italian soundtrack ever written, communicating the dynamic and the motionless, the delicate and the seductive.

Vladimir Cosma — “Clérambard, Le Chasseur” [from Clérambard]
Vladimir Cosma works within the tradition of thematic soundtrack composition, meaning each piece from the film shares the same melody, yet has its own unique instrumentation. For this OST, we have martial trumpets, ’60s beats mixed with Renaissance period instrumentation, cascading strings, and a pop number sung by Marie Laforet. Vladimir Cosma remains a master of arrangement.

Eduard Artemyev — “The Death of the Hero” [from Siberiade Soundtrack]
Artemyev, who worked extensively on the atmospheric soundtracks of Tarkovsky, delivers something a bit more “poppy,” yet this still possesses something beautiful and meaningful.

Dieter Reith — “Die Kette” [from Die Kette (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)]
Very imaginative disco for a West German thriller, with moments of funky breaks and electronic abstraction. The synth programming on this album, however, shines through everything.

Angelo Michajlov — “Petramorphosis” [from Saxana – The Girl On A Broomstick (Dívka Na Koštěti)]
Difficult to describe, but an amusing Czech surf rock containing moments of kitsch suspense.

(Photo Credit: Martin Eito)