I’m making my lunch and tonight’s dinner for my boys and I and I’ve got my laptop set out on the kitchen counter- everyone should listen to Audio Drama while working in the kitchen- and I’m listening to Broken Sea’s latest adaptation Escape from New York.
The 1981 Kurt Russell vehicle was loads of B-flick action fun when I was a kid, and I’m feeling this surge of excitement and nostalgia as the original motion picture soundtrack comes up.
The rough retort of cocked weapons, the steady thrum of helicopters stroking through the air, you can almost taste the industrial paste of grease, gunpowder, and blood. Escape from New York has all the things I loved about 80’s sci-fi films like Bladerunner and Mad Max, great distopic backdrops, hardboiled heroes, and a lot of wanton destruction.
So what’s my problem? Why am I cursing Farnaby and Hollweg?
Because just a few years ago, non-commercial audio drama often came across as clearly amateur and something hard core hobbyists would just engage in.
Vocal levels and acting are usually uneven, and production moved consistently on a sliding scale.
But it seems almost single-handedly Hollweg and in the case of Escape- Farnaby are raising the bar for audio production.
Joyously Stevie (and he is joyous trust me) relates the copious number of tracks he’s used to produce the power-packed sound that Escape from New York produces.
Now don’t get me wrong, other producers are bringing out equally stellar results in their productions, and if I begin naming them I will undoubtably forget a few, but I’ve noticed both Farnaby and Hollweg take special masochtic glee in the universe of sound they provide.
And the results? WOW, WOW, and triple WOW.
Escape from New York is something I’m going to listen again with headphones, and again, and again. I’m already salivating at the prospect of Episode 2.
The acting, and the scripts (also penned by Hollweg) are all up to Broken Sea’s usual quality with veteran’s like Mark Kalita, Bruce Busby, Robin Carlisle, Natasha Lathrop with Jester Timm Gillick channeling Kurt Russell’s “Snake Plisken”, but its the lovingly rendered production that makes the lazy audio editor in me curse Farnaby for raising the bar!