Soundtrack review: Kattenoong (Joris Hermy – 2016)
“Kattenoog” (“Cat’s eye” in English) is a Belgian TV show. The fiction series takes place in Catseye, a small and characteristic village at the edge of a mysterious lake. In the village dominated for years a horror mystery, which the Horror Club was created. Their task is clear: the village and protect the inhabitants of witches, vampires, werewolves and other scum that is out on the Catseye, a mysterious witch stone with magical powers hidden on the Catseye Island. Robin, Eli and Simone, three children from the village, are becoming more and more embroiled in the mystery of Horror Club. That just does not go without a fight . The Catseye legend meanwhile attracts Max, the ultimate rock star host of the online horror channel BOE TV. Together with his cameraman Boris and brand new co-host Daphne he travels to the mysterious village to unravel the secret of the magic stone … Is the legend true or false? The score was written by Joris Hermy.
I like magic and I like mystery. I usually embrace an atmosphere of misty darkness created with gothic or twisted piano motifs and with sounds that simulate creatures crawling on floors and walls. My favorite kind of horror / fantasy scores are the ones that incorporate melody and emotion as well instead of focusing only on the dark and scary parts. Joris Hermy writes a musical story; he doesn’t just put notes into music to support the images from the TV series, he gets actively involved and makes his music just another character in the show. The cues feel connected with each other as if they were episodes of the same story and the dance of the instruments keeps the listening experience fresh and enjoyable. The piano, the various strings and the haunting vocal parts come together in a dark carnival.
The score isn’t heavy or overly dramatic. The composer keeps the tone light quite often and gives a mood of playfulness to his music. His motifs are mainly short as if the music tiptoes and plays hide and seek. Sometimes the music feels wonderfully improvised. A cue like “Special gift” tells me that this composer is one to watch for. I like how he asks questions using his instruments. I like the witchy delights of “Axel & Gregor’s cemetery”. There’s always the lovely piano warmth in “Friends forever” and the intimacy of “Finding Sol”.
“Kattenoog” hides much more than you would expect at first. The fabric of the score is layered and colored in various shades of dark, from playful to frightening. Definitely give this one a listen.
Cue rating: 85 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 21 / 48
Album excellence: 43%
Sol’s Mystical Tales
Axel & Gregor’s Cemetery
Please Wake Up