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'Moonlight' Director Boosts A Chopped And Screwed Version Of Its Soundtrack


Art for The Chopstars' <em>Purple Moonlight</em>.
Courtesy of the artist
Art for The Chopstars' Purple Moonlight.

Last night, after all was said and done — you might've heard about a late-in-the-evening mix-upMoonlight was deservingly crowned last year's best film by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Before all the envelope-related tumult, Moonlight's director, Barry Jenkins, also shared a Best Adapted Screenplay trophy with cowriter Tarell Alvin McCraney, who wrote In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, the play on which the film was based. The pair's script calls for a particular sound:

"... on the stereo, the same song bridged from the previous scene, something old school but slowed (like Al Green's Let's Stay Together) chopped and screwed."

"Noise and fuzz in here, quads and subs as Black blasts something bass-heavy yet moving, think Erykah Badu Chopped and Screwed."

"Chopped and screwed" is the name given to the fogged, narcotized sound created by Houston's DJ Screw, who passed away in 2000 but whose influence has expanded in the years since his passing. The artists behind The Chopstars honor and extend Screw's legacy with their own works, including versions of Frank Ocean's Blonde and a drowsy mash of Solange's A Seat At The Table with Beyoncé's Lemonade.

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Last Friday the collective delivered its version of the film's soundtrack, Purple Moonlight, which opens with opiated audio from the film's first scene. Listen here:

Jenkins clearly enjoyed their work, upping it throughout the weekend.

Speaking to Pitchfork, Jenkins said last November that the brain-molasses of the style is more than just cinematic affect — though he collaborated with the film's composer, Nicholas Britell, on bringing its style into the orchestra pit — to him. "I listen to chopped and screwed every day. It annoys the s*** out of people. But I think there's something about me that I just want to actually just live in this stuff. I'm listening to f****** Tame Impala chopped and screwed right now, and even that s*** is dope."

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