Published Mar 13, 2015The cult 1974 sci-fi thriller by famed graphic designer Saul Bass, Phase IV, was not your kid's ant movie. It's more like 2001: A Space Odyssey meets Altered States, scientists pushed to the brink and beyond by strange occurrences at the axis of modern technology and existential crisis. Unfortunately, since the film didn't gain its cult status until after years of TV airing and use in an early MST3K episode, the score had never been released in any format previous to this incredibly detailed Waxwork pressing, which a shame, because it's truly worthy.
Chiefly composed by Brian Gascoigne with Stomu Yamashta doing the montages and Desmond Briscoe and David Vorhaus creating the electronic music, the score is condensed to four vignettes, corresponding to the four phases that section the film. Each of these tracks runs about eight minutes long, moving from moments of Penderecki string glissandi to Morricone orchestral psychedelia to Radiophonic sci-fi synthesis and other cinematic evocations. Its sound is heavy, dilapidated, dissonant, post-apocalyptic, ominous and occasionally, cautiously optimistic, rich with thematic inferences and commanding cues. It perfectly matches the tone of the film, enhancing its inventive visuals, and bringing its best moments vividly back to mind when heard on their own. (Waxwork Records)