“And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees” by Johann Johannsson

A magnificent soundtrack work from Iceland's Johann Johannsson


It probably wouldn’t surprise most, but the Type label was originally formed with soundtracks in mind. The moody music that usually accompanied our favourite independent films was a starting point for the label, so it seems perfect that nearly seven years on we are going back to our roots, if you like, with this latest album from Jóhann Jóhannsson.

Jóhannsson emerged on the influential Touch label with the genre-defining ‘Englaborn’ album in 2002, and since then he has gone from strength to strength becoming one of the most important figures in post-classical music. With two towering records for the 4AD label, it was only a matter of time before he was asked to record a film soundtrack, and ‘And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees’ is the result. An accompaniment to Marc Craste’s animated film ‘Varmints’, this is a collection of achingly beautiful orchestral work balanced on a bed of Jóhannsson’s patented electronics. Surprisingly however, the film itself is not intrinsic to the enjoyment of the music; Jóhannsson’s score stands alone perfectly as a haunting collection of tracks.

As with most soundtracks, the album is made up of a selection of repeating themes which appear and disappear throughout the record; Jóhannsson manages to approach this with such subtlety you can’t always even tell that a familiar theme is drifting in and out of each track. The clouds of ambience and growls of synthesizer that underpin the lilt of the orchestra are crucial to the record and give a similar warmth similar to what made ‘Englaborn’ so very special. These pieces are memorable and deeply moving, and within one listen you could almost visualise the film itself – or at least a home made version. Soundtrack or not, Jóhannsson has created yet another peerless collection of electronic/post-classical vignettes you won’t be forgetting any time soon.