Vinyl Vlog 331

Vinyl Vlog 331

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Monday, 14 May 2018
COLUMN

El Topo Soundtrack
Alejandro Jodorowksy

photo: turntablelab.com

El Topo is the kind of movie that should be seen by everyone simply due to its historical significance. It’s one of those movies that has nothing to lose. Some will love it and become interested in its creator Alejandro Jodorowsky and all his movies, others will like it, others will appreciate it for just how unique and strange it is, others will consider this movie homework and something a film buff ought to have in their repertoire, others won’t be able to make sense of it, and finally others will hate it. All of this is fine. Jodorowsky’s movies are purely expressions by their director and are simply supposed to generate a reaction from viewers. That is the power of truly compelling cinema. It sounds like a cop-out or a very low bar, but I get the feeling the point of Jodorowsky’s movies is simply to react to them.

We’ve covered Jodorowksy’s movies before in the past, and highly recommended El Topo to you, our dear audience. Particularly, the blu ray release which contains essential bonus features and a commentary track that is essential in helping us understand the movie. Something that we haven’t talked about much is the soundtrack to El Topo. Let’s correct this mistake, shall we?

I’ve come to appreciate El Topo’s soundtrack probably because I’ve come to appreciate Quentin Tarantino’s soundtracks, which feel so much like Ennio Morricone’s soundtracks. El Topo’s plot is all over the place, and even though it’s the same for the soundtrack, it’s also surprisingly easier to enjoy on the first couple of listens. Probably because I’ve watched El Topo so many times and had a chance to process the movies. The corresponding scenes also pop in my mind when I hear tracks like Los Mendigos Sagrados. But another thing to keep in mind is how surprising it is to have all these tracks collected in one album, because for some reason, El Topo feels like a movie devoid of a soundtrack. Clearly, I’ve just not been paying enough attention. There’s just so much happening in El Topo visually, and its sounds are so in-your-face that I simply forgot there’s been music playing there all along. There are tracks here that obviously compliment the cowboy and rebel motif in El Topo, the strange playfulness that our characters develop, and the serious challenges they go through on their strange journey, which will include Buddhist horns, and pan flutes. It’s strangely subdued which is not surprising considering just how wild the film itself is.

A soundtrack like this deserves to be treated with respect and that’s why you should own it on vinyl. El Topo’s soundtrack comes in a beautiful gatefold, and clear vinyl soundtrack, full of notes on the film and its making. Fans will be very pleased.

Get it here. 

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