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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari


Updated: Aug 8, 2020

Cargo is structured like an album that has no connection with what is usually heard in the world of soundtracks

1 Chain Initiation 6:37

2 Light Reading Lamp 3:52

3 Spotlight Effect 5:34

4 Liquid Funds Transfer 5:21

5 Isolation Fault 4:19

6 Outside A Musical Box 2:49

7 Wanderbaustelle 16:09

8 Mass Market Claustrophobia 3:21

9 Aggravated Circumstances 4:54

10 New Insight 1:40

11 The End is not Far Enough1:19

12 Cargo Main Theme 1:32

13 Trade Mark Activation 2:02

14 Tom's Theme 1:44

15 Modulated Pulse Commands 2:44

16 Beating the Container Drums 2:07

(CD 66:09) (V.F.)

(Berlin School, theatral e-rock)

I think it's when an artist makes a solo commitment that one can really knows his own vision, his musical soul. And that of Thorsten Quaeschning is truly that of Tangerine Dream! ... But also, of Picture Palace Music. In doing so, Edgar Froese's musical heir has composed a soundtrack as surprising as incredibly delicious that suits the ambiances of a film that tells the misadventure of a man isolated in a container whereas his captors ask him to gather a ransom of 10,000,000 in 24 hours if he wants to come out alive from his prison. CARGO (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) literally blew me up as Mister Q's creativity overflows in a context where film music has never been so far as a real studio album.

It's in the mystery of dark nights on the edge of an ocean that the ambiances of Chain Initiation take hold of our ears. The blue stationary smoke, the sinuous waves of reverberations, the circles that come and go and this line of sequences that pulse as if a takeoff is imminent are forging a heavy introduction of secrecy. It's finally a melodious line shaped by a ritornello of arpeggios spinning and zigzagging in a perfect symbiosis that hatches. Melodious, Chain Initiation jumps in its appearance of soft rock structured by a sequencer which is tempted to exploit its line of rhythm as Chris Franke knew so well to do, while creating a kind of excitement that is equivalent to a coitus interruptus. One feels here that CARGO will meet our expectations! Especially as Light Reading Lamp slips like those melodies from Picture Palace Music that are filled with melancholy woven in shadows. We are not far from the music of Stranger Things here. CARGO literally takes off with Spotlight Effect's electronic industrial rock, which is full of resonance and heavy of ectoplasmic waves to scare off the angels. The drum lines and the sequencer are forging a structure both heavy and nervous but sustained that makes us roll of neck. Here we have those riffs lines which seem so eternal and are embedded in an ingenious rhythmic structure, set up on a jerky race between drums and sequencer can allow. Efficient and dynamic, it's the perfect symbiosis between both Thorsten Quaeschning's projects. Liquid Funds Transfer immediately follows with a rather heavy sequencer that makes a key resonates in a metallic mist. The rhythm he forges is a heavy and uncertain step. But it serves as a base for a beautiful melody woven into a stream of sparkling arpeggios that waved all around us. Here again, the impression of being in a musical universe without cinematographic attachment is very present, even with the rather nostalgic vision of the music that joins the moods of the very beautiful Light Reading Lamp. Isolation Fault brings us back to the claustrophobic spirit of the movie, where a man is locked in a container, with atmospheric music woven on oscillating beeps and radio waves that travel between keyboards or guitar chords, and which float all by being well spaced. Reverberant twist effects add to the depth of the ambiences, which continually fattens its reach with heavier effects and a sequencer whose chords fall with the sharpness of a knife onto an inert salad. We head for the short and atmospheric Outside A Musical Box.

For the purposes of a vinyl pressing, Wanderbaustelle stands out from Outside A Musical Box's atmospheres in order to offer a superb Berlin School-style that dips between the worlds of Sorcerer, for the melodious approach and Near Dark, for the funeral ambiences, while winking at The Keep, especially at the spasmodic frenzy level of the sequencer. In keeping with the unbridled yet stationary rhythms of Picture Palace Music, the music evolves as an ascending spiral and is based on a sequencer whose lively and jerky chords weave a pulsating rhythm. Muted yelling vampiric tablecloths and a plethora of sound effects worthy of this strange film by James Dylan where fear and despair transpire from each of the pores of his actor Ron Thompson are added to this flagship title whose theatrical approach to PPM is very ubiquitous. A superb track that we already miss after 16:09! Mass Market Claustrophobia is as strange as its title. A short ambiospheric phase that separates the fiery Wanderbaustelle from the thunderous Aggravated Circumstances, an industrial electronic rock filled with these ghostly atmospheres at the agony of the PPM repertoire. The riffs of guitars never end to tumble in this structure where the drum imposes its law over a more fluid vision of the sequencer. The next 3 titles follow each other with a sinister orchestral approach before Trade Mark Activation defuses this relative tranquility with a furious sequencer. The CD version offers three additional titles, and Tom's Theme is as much effective in these dark ambiences that those short titles of Near Dark. Modulated Pulse Commands and Beating the Container Drums unite to offer a very intense title that delves deeply into the most Luciferian atmosphere of Picture Palace Music, a group of Thorsten Quaeschning that perfectly complements his creativity in Tangerine Dream.

More than a soundtrack, CARGO is structured like an album that has no connection with what is usually heard in the world of soundtracks. Mister Q has competed daringly by creating 2 long mosaics of atmospheric music that go very well with this effective thriller while diving directly into the worlds of Tangerine Dream and Picture Palace Music. There are few, I did not find any, of these moments of soulless music whose goal is to fill ears connected to eyes that find some long moments in the film. But in the end, CARGO is more an album of Tangerine Dream and Picture Palace Music than a movie music. I highly recommend it!

Sylvain Lupari (August 1st, 2019) ****½*

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