GFF 2012 - Italo-horror artist Umberto
- Mark Keane
- 1 February 2012
The soundtrack specialist fits comfortably into the Glasgow Music and Film Festival strand
Horror-score revivalist Matt Hill channels the creepyass compositions of Goblin, John Carpenter and Fabio Frizzi in his eerie synthjams, conjuring up a sonic witches brew. A member of drone-merchants Expo 70, Hill has, in his Umberto guise, explored the ever-burgeoning scene of soundtrack composers – see Texan sci-fi and synth fan Xander Harris, or italo-loving Bristolian Antoni Maiovvi – who work outside the medium of film.
Hill writes his own narratives and creates his own sonic mise-en-scène, illuminating dark corners of the psyche which can be a) left well enough alone, or b) nurtured through a fine diet of slasher flicks and exploitation cinema. Guess which option he chose?
Hill’s music creates a heavy, stygian atmosphere, brooding with a claustrophobic tension and goose-pimply, alone-in-the-dark unease. Great slabs on monolithic synths collide with creepy drone washes and the occasional cathartic relief of chase-scene italo-disco breaks the almost constant knife-edge tension. The ride is equally thrilling and exhausting – like being the protagonist in your own personal celluloid nightmare. Both Umberto’s LPs (From The Grave and Prophecy of the Black Widow) could be plucked from a dusty Dario Argento lost Italian horror classic.
It makes utter sense then that Umberto would play as part of the Glasgow Music and Film Festival, and if ever there was a match made in hell, this event is it. Hill will perform a live soundtrack to a mystery film of his choosing (rule out Love Actually) with support from dirge-jammers Organs of Love. It promises to be scary good.