Quite a bit’s happened in the interim — much of it related to Epton’s role as the in-house producer/engineer at XL Recordings. Between that gig and the occasional remix, Epton has crossed paths with everyone from Thom Yorke to FKA Twigs, all while fine-tuning his classically-trained skills for such film score ops as Clayton Vomero’s 3OHA (a.k.a. Zona).
According to a press release, the looming, hour-long feature takes a closer look at the “outsider lives of young people in Kiev, Moscow, Vladimir and St. Petersburg…. Part docufilm, part archival history lesson and part impressionistic emotional evocation, 3OHA explores elements of 20th century Soviet culture and history, now diffracted through the cracked lens of Western capitalist consumerism.”
“3OHA’s overarching narrative theme is based in Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation,” explains Vomero. “The film explores this as a critique of consumer culture and how that culture weaves with our memories of historical events to form an apparatus of control. As these events separate from the moment in which they’ve occurred, they become memory, they merge into image, product, and iconography to form simulacra, or empty symbols that no longer contain their original meaning but are now full of emotion.”
Epton meets Vomero’s heady ideas halfway with the help of cellist Lucinda Chua (Stars of the Lid, FKA Twigs, Helm) and an experimental soundtrack that melds “abstract IDM, 3D sound design, fourth world melange, vaporous ambience, heavy percussive drama, avant garde and contemporary classical.”
“The whole score has a blurry, ‘degraded photocopy’ feel to it,” says Epton. “I wanted to create a sound environment that was elusive; it slips away when you try to examine it, almost like being in a fog.”
The complete 3OHA soundtrack is due out through SA Recordings on November 8th. Check out its lead single below, along with a little more commentary from Epton….
When we were working on the music for ‘3OHA’, I was simultaneously doing some recording sessions with the DJ / producer Anthony Naples and some of his friends. He had left a sequencer and drum machine at my studio, so I was spending some time with those after hours when they weren’t around. ‘Emilio’s Blotto’ was one of the pieces of music I came up with. I knew we were going to need some dance stuff for the score so I was just trying to generate some material randomly for that, and this one came out super fast — in like 15 minutes!
It was the first time I used that particular step sequencer, which has become a big mainstay for me now. There’s a magical thing that happens sometimes with a new piece of equipment, where you’re completely ignorant of the way it works and you kind of have to struggle and explore to get something out of it. Really great stuff can come out of that moment of reckoning.
3OHA Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(SA Recordings, November 8th)
3. Swan Lake Pt1
4. 21st century
5. B4RBI3 ROOM
8. Emilio’s Blotto
11. Swan Lake Pt2