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Tokarev.

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The first time I heard Laurent Eyquem,s music was for the movie COPPERHEAD, which got me hooked straight away, well I say hooked more like interested and fascinated that a composer such as this I had not heard of before. I then heard a few more of his works that were for in the main movies produced in South Africa and the composer very kindly sent me a download of his score for WINNIE MANDELA, this led to an interview with him and then I realised just what a great talent he was. One of his latest assignments is RAGE-TOKAREV which is a tense action thriller starring Nicholas Cage. Cages characters daughter is kidnapped and he turns to his old acquaintances in the criminal world and reverts to his old ways to try and get her back. The score for this drama is a multi coloured and varied styled score which seems to encompass an entire palette of sounds and musical textures during its running time. Poignant and touching tone poems are accompanied by nervously tense and highly combustible tracks which have at their core thundering percussive elements that drive headlong at a break neck speed to create that edge of the seat tension that is required in movies such as this as in track number 2, THE KIDNAPPING and track number 3, TRYING TO UNDERSTAND which are veritable smorgasbords of sounds both symphonic and synthetic, but the composer fuses these in such a way that they compliment and embellish each other to heighten the drama and create a thrilling and relentless composition. I was struck by the fact that even the more robust and action led cues remain musical and melodic throughout, the composer creating dramatic and powerful cues that are dynamic and pulsating but have solid thematic properties. I must admit that it is the quieter moments within the score that attract me personally more than the action material; the composer has the ability to create haunting and subtle musical phrases that are highly emotive and in a word beautiful, as in cues such as BODY FOUND, THE PAIN and the plaintive and emotive BOX FULL OF MEMORIES. The composer also utilises female voice within the work which adds a fragility and delicate tone to the proceedings. Solo piano features large within the score also and it purveys an atmosphere which is calming but also at the same time is filled with melancholy.

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The score does have a particularly attractive central theme which is at times performed by piano and also is give a fuller and more expanded work out by the string section who give the theme a sweeping, luxurious and lavish sound.
This is a score that I recommend you add to your collection, and while you are listening to it make sure you have your pc on to go to one of those well known sites that sell music because as soon as you hear the artistry and the richness and the freshness of Laurent Eyquem, s music you will be looking for more of the same. Presented well by Caldera records with informative notes by Gergely Hubai and eye catching art work by Luis Miguel Rojas. The CD was produced by Stephan Eicke and John Elborg.

MAN FROM DEEP RIVER.

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Daniele Patucchi is a composer who is sadly unrepresented on compact disc and when you think about it he was also treated in a similar fashion when it came to his scores being issued on vinyl. Thankfully his score for MAN FROM DEEP RIVER aka SACRIFICE has at last made it onto compact disc, Patucchi,s score is mainly a melodic one with two central themes re-occurring throughout its running time, the composer also makes good use of some slightly more atonal and sinister sounding music which is a fusion of symphonic and also electronic, but the two elements combine seamlessly and compliment each other along the way, giving support and also bolstering one another as the score progresses. The composer utilises strings and also a scattering of harpsichord that are in turn supported by subdued brass and woodwind with the occasional female solo voice making an appearance giving the work an uplifting and almost sensuous atmosphere as in track number 12 until said Female performer is interrupted by a searing electronic sound which is thankfully short lived but necessary. Track number 11 is one that I returned to because of the fresh and vibrant arrangement of one of the core themes, Patucchi launching it headlong in an up-tempo but at the same time slightly manic fashion with the string section doing most of the work, this is a score that I have to recommend because it is a great example of the work of this underrated composer in fact when Patucchi utilises harpsichord and strings and introduces woods and mixes in a sensual female voice the sound achieved is not unlike that of Ennio Morricone, and at one point his harpsichord has a chilling effect that is very similar to that when Bruno Nicolai used the instrument in a spidery sounding introduction to IL CONTE DRACULA, this is a gem of a score that has thankfully been preserved by BEAT. Nice art work with informative notes by Umberto Lenzi and Fabio Babini.

IL ROLLERBOY.

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IL ROLLERBOY, circa 1980, is a low budget Italian production that has a curious and really a wasteful plot, by wasteful I mean it was a waste of time actually writing this rubbish and then turning into a movie. So the less said about the boring and uninteresting film the better. The score is by Italian Maestro Stelvio Cipriani, and although I have to say I am normally a fan of Cipriani and he is a very genuine person and in 99.9 percent of scenarios delivers great film music that is original and memorable he certainly must have had a bad day at the office when he got involved with this little classic. It is basically a collection of upbeat instantly forgettable tunes with a few vocals thrown in (literally) along the way. It is a mystery to me that BEAT records who have like many other labels begun to release a lot of soundtracks that were originally issued on the illustrious CAM label, so why pick material such as this it is not exactly interesting or original in fact its mind numbing in the worst sense of that word. The scores only saving grace is one particularly attractive cue entitled THE ROAD TO CALIFORNIA, which has harmonica lead and is a pleasant easy going theme. The remainder of the score is a serious film music collector’s nightmare and includes sub standard disco hits; you know the ones that you find on the compilations as fillers for the real hits. The songs include that evergreen disco stomper by Dwayne Ford YOU, VE GOT TO BE MEANT or is that MEAN (I think so). Track number seven is DISCO MEN, yes; surely you know that contagious classic? (Nope, neither do I) but it goes down a storm in roller discos and sounds very similar to DANNY BOY by the way (is,nt that copyright infringement as there is no mention of it in the credits). Enough said I think, IL ROLLERBOY, is certainly a case of the music being better than the movie it was written for, but saying that the music is nothing special in fact its nothing really at all, certainly a miss in my book. Again it’s a case of record companies issuing scores for the sake of doing so, why release this when there are so many other good soundtracks in the CAM catalogue that deserve a release on compact disc for the first time, it’s a waste of time and effort not to mention money for record companies, a pointless exercise that will I know end up stuck on a shelf in an archive or languish for weeks in the bargain bin until finally some poor unsuspecting member of the public decides to shell out 50 pence on it and even then they would have paid over the odds. Avoid it like the plague…..The composer should have.

WICKED BLOOD.

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After recently listening to and enjoying Elia Cmiral, s glorious score for ATLAS SHATTERED 3, I was pleased to see that Varese Sarabande had released the composers score for WICKED BLOOD, the two scores are to coin a phrase like chalk and cheese or at least are very different animals in style and sound. The ATLAS SHATTERED score is dramatic and also romantic even lush and lavish, whereas WICKED BLOOD is slightly darker in its overall make up and tone with the composers music taking on a more intimate persona and as I have already stated being darker brooding and quietly threatening in places. The orchestration and also the instrumentation on the score is completely different from AS 3, but this shows us just how inventive and talented Cmiral is as a composer changing atmospheres and moods to fit every genre. WICKED BLOOD is a straight to DVD release directed by Mark Young, this thriller is pretty impressive and Cmiral, s music supports and also elevates the scenarios being acted out perfectly.

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Of course Elia Cmiral is probably best known for his soundtrack to RONIN which brought him recognition and acclaim, since then however he has been wrongly under utilised and is in a word underrated. The score for WICKED BLOOD has to it a folk or even slight country/Southern States sound within it and it is this sound or style that I suppose is the backbone or central focal point of the work the composer using solo violin and also a string quartet at one point to create this kind of laid back but at the same time lonely sound which he purveys to a greater degree with guitar in many of the cues. There is however another side to the score which is more intense and also one which purveys an almost sombre darkness but all the time it remains melodious and I suppose has a fragility to it which is relayed by sporadic and fleeting use of solo piano. Synthetic sounds or electronics do come into the equation but even these remain fairly melodic and low key and fuse seamlessly with the acoustic sound of the guitar, the solo performances on violin and the strings and piano. Certainly worth checking out.

ATLAS SHRUGGED lll-WHO IS JOHN GALT?

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The third and final chapter of the ATLAS SHRUGGED series begins after 12 years of suffering mysterious disappearances of society’s most-productive; the nation’s economy on the verge of collapse, the government pursues policies imposing even greater viciousness against those remaining. One man has the answer. One woman determined to keep the world running stands in his way. He swore by his life. She swore to stop him. Who is John Galt?

Composer Elia Cmiral scored the first movie in this trilogy ATLAS SHRUGGED and with this outstanding soundtrack makes a triumph and highly affecting return to the series of movies. His score is emotive, captivating and heartbreakingly alluring, filled with highly melodious tone poems that are fragile, delicate and sensitive. The work is brimming with luxurious and sweeping thematic material which lingers in ones mind long after the compact disc has finished playing. Flyaway and wistful woodwinds enhance lavish sounding strings and romantically laced piano solos throughout the score and it is quite simply a heart string tugging soundtrack.

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The composer combining the string section with faraway sounding horns and further embellishing these elements with chorale support at key moments within the score. This for me is a return to pure romanticism and also a return to the way in which movies were scored many years ago. It contains solid and attractive themes that build, rise and burst forth creating emotion upon emotion and purveying a superb and salubrious sound sensation that envelopes the listener totally and completely mesmerises them. This is a side of the composer I have I must say not experienced before now, and I certainly like what I am hearing. Within the score there are also a handful of more dramatic and urgent cues, again the composer turning to the string section to create a driving and pressing atmosphere with subdued use of percussion adding depth and bringing a greater sense of determination and drama to the proceedings. But it is the gloriously rich themes purveyed by both strings and piano that make this score stand out, eloquent, opulent and hauntingly beautiful cues that will be returned to often I predict once heard. Definitely one for your collection.

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