Pretty en Rose was directed by underground auteur Angélique Bosio, and it documents the life, creativity and aura of Parisian cult icon Fifi Chachnil. I will be honest and say that not only have I never watched any of Angélique’s films, including this one, but I was also unfamiliar with Ross Blake’s music until now. Previously being a member of the bands Buttonhead and Poino, now a member of the Robert Sotelo band, Ross is a multi-talented composer and filmmaker, working on various projects over the year, including soundtracks for films such as Museum of Miracles and The House of Psychotic Women. His soundtrack for Pretty en Rose is easily his most ambitious, emphatic and complete work to date.
The opening minutes of this album pure bliss. The stunning harp and string-driven start to this album sets the tone for a colourful, animated and monumental 36 minutes worth of music. The vocal performance on ‘Ages’ is accompanied by subtle strings, a powerful bassline, a chorus and drumming which oozes confidence and power. ‘Karen Black’ delves into a world of mystical electronica, while ‘Silk Trout’ has an element of playful quirkiness which is both entertaining and fun to listen to. The album’s magnum opus, to me at least, is ‘Golden Spherics,’ a thrilling 8-minute journey through mystery and eeriness. The string sections here are breath-taking, the keys are ethereal and jittery, the drums pulsate through your soul when the piece explodes at the 3:50 mark. The textures and the mixing of this composition and the album as a whole are flawless. It’s like being transported into the world of Alice in Wonderland, where everything is colourful, textured, tangible and gorgeous. As mentioned before the music feels animated and alive, as if you’re floating through the clouds as a free spirit.
I fully endorse this soundtrack and encourage anyone who likes film, who enjoys rich, textured, diverse and inspiring music to support this work of art, because it is worth it and it will blow you away. Listen to Pretty en Rose – Original Soundtrack below via Bandcamp. Released on Horse Arm Records.
Performance Credits — Ross Blake: Backing Vocals (1), Bass (1, 4, 6), Clarinet (7), Guitar (1, 6, 8), Organ (2, 4, 6), Piano (3–7), Programming ( 1–2), Synths ( 1–4, 6–8), Taisho Koto (1, 3), Ukulele (5), Vibraphone (4, 8). Daniel John Boyle: Percussion (3). Kelly Everett: Backing Vocals (3). Eloise Goulder: Harp ( 1, 5), Viola (3–5), Violin (3–5). Karen Gwyer: Guest Vocals (2). Lillias Kinsman-Blake: Flute (3, 4, 7). Valentina Magaletti: Percussion (3). Dearbhla Minogue: Vocals (1, 8). Luca Nasciuti: Cello (3, 4). Dwight Scruntz: Drums and Percussion (4–6). Natalie Sharp: Vocals (1, 7). Tobias Warwick Jones: Guitar (3)
Original film by Angélique Bosio
Front Cover Photograph © Pierre et Gilles:
‘La Grande Parade’, Fifi Chachnil, 1988