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Sounds | тараканы (Tarakani), the Cockroach (kortfilm)

Een kortfilm bij BIR? Goh ja, het is eens iets anders en bovendien gaat het ons natuurlijk vooral om de soundtrack die erbij hoort. Wat de thematiek van de film betreft, die is actueler dan ooit, ook al werd alles opgenomen en afgewerkt vóór de start van de oorlog in Oekraïne. We zien hoe een voormalig gevechtspiloot gebult gaat onder trauma's en isolatie en nog een laatste keer zijn problemen probeert te 'ontvluchten'.

Net zoals de beelden is ook de muziek geen licht verteerbare kost. Donker en somber, op het randje van uitzichtloos. Een mix van prog/post rock, jazz en klassieke muziek met de klassiek geschoolde Stephanos op viool en piano en Mateusz, een jazz fusion autodidact, op basgitaar. Ondanks dat het een erg ambitieus project is, blijft alles toch toegankelijk en melodieus. Beide talenten dagen elkaar ook steeds uit, t.t.z. Stephanos wordt uitgedaagd door Mateusz om jazz te leren en die pikt dan weer de klassieke muziek op. Bekijk zeker ook hun YouTube kanaal en leer de boys op die manier wat beter kennen.


Immortal Machinery were formed during a jam night in London in the winter of 2013 by front man Steph K. (a UK native of Cypriot/Chinese mixed heritage) and bassist Mat G. (originally from Poland). Originally a rock trio with vocals, the band slowly drifted towards an instrumental sound influenced by jazz, post-rock and contemporary classical music.

Like many musicians, the COVID-19 pandemic presented itself as an opportunity for creation and experimentation. With their 2020 release Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words), the band invited listeners to contribute artwork that they created while listening to the album. The end result was a gallery of images that the band considers to be as much a part of the release as the music itself. The entire collaborative project can be seen HERE.

Music and arts magazine said of the album: "Immortal Machinery crafts a beautiful, creative, energised exploration of instrumental music on their new opus"

In 2021, Mat G and Steph K. pursued their interest in 20th century classical music and took on the challenge of reinterpreting Hungarian composer Bela Bartok's music. The result was the EP Bartok ReOrganised, in which selected works by the composer were rearranged for a modern rock band featuring an electric Hammond organ. The release drew praise from Echoes and Dust magazine, who said:

"Another reason Immortal Machinery's vision of Bartok is successful might lie in the fact that the duo obviously know the composer's works so well."

Music blog The Viking in the Wilderness also said of the EP:

"...if challenging music that exists on the borders between jazz, chamber rock and avant-oriented progressive sounds is a good thing then this is an EP that deserves a listen."

Once again pushing the boundaries of the album/EP format, the band collaborated with photographer David Payne and music/arts website to create the silent film тараканы (Tarakani) - the Cockroach, in which the band's music would drive the narrative. The film tells the story of an unnamed pilot, trapped in a cycle of war flashbacks and waking nightmares. As he battles his hallucinations and alcohol dependency, he readies himself to fly out of trouble one last time.

The film stars Jamie F. Parker, a Drama & Theatre graduate from Royal Holloway University, London. Although this is his screen debut, Parker has appeared in numerous stage productions including The Trial by Steven Berkoff, DNA by Dennis Kelly and Posh by Laura Wade. A long-time musical collaborator with the band, Parker also plays drums on the latter portion of the soundtrack.

Through this project, the band's intention is to provoke a conversation around the effects of isolation, addiction and past trauma on mental health, and ask the question: "What happens when we try to outrun our demons?"


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