Beauty can be enhanced by pointlessness. Being without function invites the aesthetic gaze and has the potential to turn all substance into aesthetic surplus. This 3? cd by The Owl Service is such a thing: It is somewhat uncalled for ? and manages to convey a real passion for the music that?s featured here. The choice of classic film scores covered in red carpet folk style comes across as being quite random ? and makes this release even more subjective. Anyway, the four key tracks from the scores of ?Psychomania?, ?Girl on a Motorcycle?, ?Die Screaming Marianne? and ?The Wicker Man? are recreated with a wonderful feeling for period sounds. In a way, ?Cine? is a historicist endeavour, but it is much more likeable than your standard faux-antebellum porch.
Although it is more retro and revelling in a folk noblesse strain, ?Cine? shares more than just the subtitle with the ?Director?s Cut? by Fantomas, an album of harsh metal reworkings of horror score classics. And they?re both more than happy to exhibit this drive. They?re both driven by an expert interest in the minority mainstream, in the obscure classic. Take the film selection and look at how it is described by mainstream criticism. My venerable film encyclopaedia describes ?Psychomania? as a ?muddled spectacle full of silly ideas? and ?The Girl on a Motorcycle? (the German distro title translates as ?Naked under Leather?) as ?ambitious filmmaking but superficial in its portrayal of frustration and desire?. ?Cine? is the Italian word for cinema and as the title of this cd it?s also a signpost pointing towards a culture industry that thrived on the obscure. This b-movie version of the Nouvelle Vague is where Martyn Kember-Smith, the man behind The Owl Service, takes us during these 13 minutes of lounge fiddling, spoken word samples, jingling bells, beautiful female vocals and black coffee bass lines. A piece of original set photography from one of the movies is inserted into the fold-up sleeve, which further adds to the charm of the whole thing. ?Cine? is by no means a major release but very delightful indeed. 7/10 -- Jan-Arne Sohns (12 September, 2007)