"Last year at the Glasgow Film Festival Umberto did a performance along tothe film Pieces, a frankly mental video nasty and I was lucky enough to bethere. We met after the show and asked if he had any plans to release that music and offered to put it out if he hadn't. This record is the result of these
incidents. It's a wonderful record and I'm really proud to be involved in its release." Stuart Braithwaite, Mogwai / Rock Action It was a step into the unknown for former Expo 70 synth and bass player Matt Hill when he agreed to score a film soundtrack for the Glasgow Music and Film Festival in February of this year. For those who aren’t aware of the Kansas City resident, his work under the moniker Umberto has often had the spirit of exploration in it. A master in drawing out emotions of the utmost tension from his seemingly laboratory-constructed aural expanses, the multiinstrumentalist conveys a deep love of the film scoring greats such as John Carpenter, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith and Vangelis across his two solo LPs thus far - 2009’s From The Grave and 2010’s Prophecy Of The Black Widow, released on Not Not Fun. He admits that since he was a teenager he’d always wanted to write film scores, and as a grown-up confesses that “I try to put my albums together as soundtracks to films that don't exist.” Yet, for a man so taken by music meant for the cinematic form, his appearance in Glasgow was the first time he’d been publicly attempted to present a soundtrack for a feature length film. Hill figured that he best go with what he knew, and picked one of his favourite movies growing up to score – 1983 thriller curio ‘Pieces’, starring Christopher and Lynda Day George (the latter known for roles in 1970s American TV series like ‘Mission Impossible’ and ‘The Love Boat’). Focusing on a killer who targets female students at a university campus, stealing their body parts when the murder is complete, the film’s relatively low budget only enhanced the gritty nature of its content, and Hill’s soundtrack  matched the movie for every nerve-tugging step. Portraying a dark, uncomfortable atmosphere which saw motifs emerge unnoticed and blunt synth lines darting around each other with a sense of trepidation, the American’s soundtrack was gothic in its nature, a true throwback to the halcyon era of 70s/80s horror genre sound tracking. Among those in the audience that night enthralled by Hill’s performance, was Mogwai and Rock Action record label man Stuart Braithwaite. Braithwaite had been a fan of Umberto since hearing his debut From The Grave: “I grew up on horror movies from the 70s and 80s” he explains, “so it was great to hear someone take that style of music and bring it up to date.” Heralding Hill’s soundtrack to a film that, as he puts it, is “a frankly mental video nasty,” Braithwaite offered to release the soundtrack on Rock Action. Night Has A Thousand Screams is the result. Shorn of the film’s grainy visuals, Umberto’s music still retains an extraordinary impact, a thin line of anxiety pulled tight throughout the ten modified pieces that make up the album. Hill had to effectively go back through his performance and try to isolate sections of the music that he felt would work on a shorter album, yet the feel and flow of this synth-noir odyssey remains almost eerily smooth. Ensuring a sense of symmetry, Hill sandwiches his album between the same set of foreboding opening and closing credits – segments of which resurface time and time again throughout - providing a structure that allows the album to build towards an unholy crescendo. Hill’s desire to mix the horror genre with his own music runs deep; right back to when he was in single digit years learning the piano and his Dad started allowing him to rent horror films. It was the soundtracks of ‘The Thing’, by Carpenter, and of work by Italian giallo director Dario Argento that he admits turned him onto electronic music; so in some ways Night Has A Thousand Screens is the culmination of a particular life goal, those years creating imaginary soundtracks, and working on short film scoring projects all part of the creative puzzle that makes up this panoramic behemoth.