Heinrich Dressel


Musica Per Immagini • 2023

In 1932, Belgian crime author Georges Simenon published his novel »Le passager du ›Polarlys‹« (transl. as »The mystery of the Polarlys«). It’s a classic whodunnit: a steamboat is on its way from Hamburg to Norway. At sea, a body is found. The captain has to solve the murder. Now, Heinrich Dressel has composed a soundtrack for a fictitious film adaptation of Simenon’s novel. His overt reference point are Angelo Badalamenti’s »Twin Peaks« arrangements. Like Badalamenti, Dressel makes use of foreboding drones to evoke an abstract imminence. The opener, »The Evil Eye«, already feels like a maritime counterpart to the forest theme of »Twin Peaks«. In the trees of Washington state, Badalamenti masterfully gave the opaque evil underlying the eponymous town an expression. Dressel lives up to the late composer. »Polarlys« consistently manages to evoke images of a sinister see and eerie fjords. Even Dressel’s sound design takes cues from »Twin Peaks«: he uses synthesizers that were popular in the 90s. »Polarlys« isn’t innovative by any means. It does one thing – but it does it damn well. When comparing his compositions to the OST for the 2017 season of »Twin Peaks«, it repeatedly slipped my mind to whose album I was listening to. Perhaps it is speaking volumes of the quality of a crime thriller soundtrack, if it has you guessing: whodunnit?