Based upon the true-life events of the HATTON GARDEN robbery, KING OF THIEVES is an entertaining and engrossing movie. The same can be said of the musical score which is composed by Benjamin Wallfisch. The sound realised for the soundtrack is a combination of contemporary and has to it a slightly 1960’s edge in some of the cues. The composer utilising big band styles that are combined with jazz orientated sections and dramatic and tense thematic material that I think you will agree sounds like a fusion of the styles of Quincy Jones and John Barry. But, there is also present a style that is driving and action led. This could be the soundtrack to another instalment of the SHAFT series or even the score for a new Harry Palmer tale or maybe THE MAN FROM UNCLE? This is a slick and sophisticated work, filled with toe tapping musical lines and has to it that big band sound on which the composer builds a more dramatic and tense sounding score. On listening to it and not being aware of the composer, the names Fielding, Schifrin, Barry, Goldsmith, Hayes and Legrand come to mind.
There was a movie released in the 1960’s entitled ROBBERY music was by Johnny Keating I think, and he successfully mixed jazz sounds with that of the dramatic, creating an effecting soundtrack that supported and enhanced the movie. I believe Wallfisch has succeeded in creating a score that not only fits the movie like a glove but also has fashioned music that is highly entertaining on its own. In fact, it’s an album that one could put on and just listen to without it being connected in any way to the movie. Legrand did it with THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, Schifrin with BULLIT and Barry on movies such as THE IPCRESS FILE.
The composer combines the brassy sounds of big band with strings and woods and punctuates these with bass and electric guitar which are augmented by effective usage of cymbalom. This is just an entertaining musical romp which is highlighted by the jazz arrangement of THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRY in the form of THE SUGAR PLUM RAID, its fresh, fun and one to add to the collection, Now.
Movie score Media is a record label that I really adore, not only do they champion lesser known composers, but they also release soundtracks by composers that collectors are familiar with that ordinarily would not see a digital or CD release. One of the labels recent releases is the score from the television series CLASH OF FUTURES which has a stunning soundtrack composed by Laurent Eyquem. Laurent is a composer of note as far as I am concerned, he has written the music for many movies and been associated with television productions, you may be familiar with his music via films such as COPPERHEAD, MOMENTUM, NOSTALGIA and the excellent USS INDIANAPOLIS-MEN OF COURAGE. It is I think somewhat unfair that a composer such as this does not seem to get the adulation and the focus from collectors that is so richly deserved. His music is varied and innovative the composer consistently producing scores that are of a high quality and filled with rich and vibrant themeatic material.
This latest offering from the composer is an intense and entertaining listen, it is overflowing with themes that are lush and haunting as well as having its fair share of darker and more sinister sounding material. In CLASH OF FUTURES one can hear the style and the individual musical fingerprint of Eyquem, drama and action being conjured up by the smouldering and tense music. Most of the score has to it an apprehensive and slow building persona, but it does at times break into a more grandiose and driving symphonic style at times surprising the listener with a richness and lavishness that can be breath-taking. The score also possesses a more intimate side that for me evoked the style of composers John Barry and Ennio Morricone muted trumpet and what I think could be flugelhorn play against a kind of rippling piano solo feature as do strings and percussive elements, all these components combine and fuse together to create a sound and style that is infectious. I love the way in which the composer fashions brooding and slow building pieces throughout, layering strings and enhancing these with percussion, adding to the instrumentation as the cue develops to construct an effective and affecting sound, he also utilises Soprano voices at key moments which give the work an almost otherworldly sound that is haunting and mesmerising, with choir also being utilised effectively.
As is the way these days in contemporary film music the score does have synthetic support but this blends and fuses seamlessly with that of the symphonic. Laurent Eyquem is a composer who has the talent and ability to create wonderful tone poems that enhance and support every project he is involved with, and as well as serving the images and storylines the composer also manages to create music that is enjoyable to sit and listen to away from those images and scenarios. There are no highlight moments within the score, because each track each piece and each theme is a highlight itself. The combination of sorrowful but attractive cello and piano at times is memorable and enriching. Original sounding orchestration and imaginative use of brass instruments is noticeable, and as I have mentioned can be likened to the style of Morricone, a style and sound that catches the listeners attention throughout. One for the collection, one of the best scores thus far this year. Available as a digital download and later will be released as a physical CD on Quartet records. Highly recommended.