Bristol musician John Parish is best known as a long-term collaborator with PJ Harvey, releasing two acclaimed albums with her and producing her Mercury-winning Let England Shake, a partnership that began when she joined his band Automatic Dlamini in the late 1980s.

He has also made his name producing the likes of Eels, Sparklehorse and Goldfrapp, and since 1998 he has been working regularly as a soundtrack composer, mostly within the realm of European cinema. Whilst a couple of his soundtracks have been released as full albums (Rosie and She, a Chinese) he has chosen his favourites from some of his own recent scores and sequenced them together to make up this Screenplay collection, working on the theory that you shouldn't need to have seen any of the films to appreciate the music.

The four film soundtracks that he has drawn his material from are Nowhere Man, Plein Sud, Little Black Spiders and the recent, Oscar-nominated Sister (L'enfant d'en Haut) and overall, his theory holds up. Screenplay actually does work as an album, changing mood and style throughout its 53 minute running time without ever feeling like four soundtracks stuck together.

Although the album is mostly instrumental and the influence of other soundtrack composers is strong, Parish's subtle and often under-rated guitar style is the real highlight for me. These influences come together well on opening track 'Katharina' where the twang of the guitar merges with the sweeping film-noir feel of the keyboards, whilst 'The Island' could easily have come from his albums with PJ Harvey, albeit coloured with a dash of Lalo Schifrin.

'Katja Gives Birth' features edgy electronics and manipulated guitar which sounds like it is desperately trying to form something familiar, and 'LBS/ End Titles' is pleasantly glitchy before it breaks into a melodic sweep. There are moody, ambient pieces ('River', 'Sara and Thomas') and appropriately icy piano treatments ('Katja's Death'). 'The Girls Rehearse' is a bright yet brief taste of Gallic lounge-pop, while 'Les Billets' could be a French accordion piece remade for distorted guitar and harmonics.

Polly Harvey has claimed that she learnt her guitar style from Parish, and the versatile moods and textures he creates with the instrument are very impressive. Noise guitar features strongly on the krautrock pulse of 'L'enfant d'en Haut' and the infectious punky 'The Minotaur'. In contrast, 'The Spring Ritual' and 'Plein Sud' have gently weaving and intersecting guitars that evoke some of Tom Verlaine's delicate instrumental work.

So Screenplay isn't a typical soundtrack album, but it still manages to sound cinematic whilst proving that the electric guitar in the right hands is as good an instrument for evoking mood and atmosphere as any orchestra.