The Soundtrack to Intersection & Music for Inside the Ku Klux Klan
"A surreal, hallucinatory soundtrack for a heat-warped American West somewhere between nowhere and hell." (4 stars) - MOJO magazine.
Abstract. Psychedelic. Blues. Country. Avant garde. Jazz. Progressive. North Americana. Stoner rock. North Africana. Sonic. Ambient. Exotica. Haunting. Brooding. Hypnotic. Beautiful. Compelling. These adjectives could describe the melting pot of musical moods from Bob Keelaghan and Muerte Pan Alley’s The Soundtrack to Intersection and Music For Inside the Ku Klux Klan, but that doesn’t clarify the motion picture.
Two soundtracks for two lms by two directors grace this platter (and internet download). Both were originally scored by Keelaghan (ex-Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir) as largely solo guitar pieces.
At different times each director encouraged him to release the music. After mulling it over for an overly-extended period he enlisted his Muerte Pan Alley bandmates Jay Woolley and Rob Oxoby, embellished the arrangements for some tracks, expanded others into songs, revived bits from the cutting room floor, and strung them together into two musical suites. The intention was to assemble the compositions and six-string soundscapes to play out with the dramatic arc of an auditory movie for intronauts and visually impaired persons alike. Rest assured, these were the best of intentions.
Part one is the music from Intersection, a short film by up-and-coming American director Brendan Beachman. The clever, very dark, existential comedy played at the Palm Springs International Short Fest, Oxford Film Festival, and Foyle Film Festival among others. It won an award for best editing from Rhode Island’s Sci Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival and was a daily pick on Filmshortage.com.
Part two is music originally written for BAFTA award-winning documentarian Daniel Vernon’s Inside the Ku Klux Klan that aired on British TV in 2015. Following a Missouri chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, it foreshadowed the spotlight on the resurgence of racist groups in the American socio-political landscape during the 2016 presidential election campaign. As a grim postscript to the doc, in February of 2017 Frank Ancona, the leader of the KKK chapter documented in the film, was murdered.
Beachman and Vernon similarly, but unrelatedly, contacted Keelaghan about using the music of cult country-blues clang bangers Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir for their projects. Coincidentally, conversations with each director evolved into asking Keelaghan to take a stab at doing original scores, since he could capture more moods than the AMGC back catalogue. (Muerte Pan Alley formed after the demise of AMGC, of which Keelaghan and Woolley were members.)
Muerte Pan Alley’s 2015 debut Clunk & Sputter, a collection of divergent roots, rock, and world music in uences, received some enthusiastic reviews and pockets of campus radio airplay. Other people ignored the fuck out of it. Which will it be for The Soundtrack to Intersection and Music For Inside the Ku Klux Klan? Cliff hanger.
Words About Muerte Pan Alley's Clunk & Sputter
This, my dear listeners, is an assortment of songs of such profound randomness, that I dare call it a work of art worthy of inclusion in the Louvre. Either that, or I’m just really lazy.
- KVRX, Austin, TX
Forget trios like Cream or Hendrix...Muerte Pan Alley have taken the true essence of the Blues, the angst, the joy, the hopelessness and the hope and translated that into a modern idiom.
- Blues Matters, England
…Gritty blues pickin', folky mountain banjo string acrobatics, stomp and crash percussion, off-the-rails country strums, upright pluck and thump, and unruly junkyard roots rock bits….
- 4/5, No Depression, U.S.A.
… A lot of creative panache… that makes for an exciting ride.
- www.folkworld.eu, Germany
That place is a weird and wonderful one, with Muerte Pan Alley dredging up all of the best bits from a varied and influential career while still being its own thing. The trio cough up a gnarled blur of folk, blues, country, metal and rock on Clunk and Sputter….
- Calgary Herald, Canada
Elke song van Muerte Pan Alley spreekt tot de verbeelding zowel omwille van de hyperkinetische tempo’s als de onderliggende Mississippi groove wanneer er even adem wordt gehaald. Je kan hun eigen soundomschrijving alleen maar bijtreden : bluescountryrock ‘past-present-and-futur’ maar dan met een bijhorende punkattitude!
- www.rootstime.be, Belgium
I haven't decided if Clunk & Sputter is better for inducing hangovers or soothing them.
- Al C. from The Von Zippers