The composers GREAT GARBO as they are known collectively are Diego, Nora and Lionel Baldenweg. These talented composers and musicians have over the past year or so caused something of a stir in the film music community and have sent many collectors and fans into raptures with their highly original sounding film and television scores. One of their recent projects was for Australian TV channel ABC and Netflix, when they scored the series THE UNLISTED. To say that this is a riveting and highly atmospheric soundtrack is certainly an understatement. With each assignment they seem to become more inventive and stronger in their compositions and arrangements. The score has to it a brooding and dark persona, but still remains thematic. The composers utilise Pink Floyds ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL to great effect, when I say they utilise the song, its not in its original form as performed by Floyd. No they have arranged it into a highly compelling listening experience, which although familiar becomes kind of alien as in a song I have never heard before, simply because of the way in which it has been orchestrated and arranged, plus the performance to is stunning, with the vocalist Nora Baldenweg creating an otherworldly performance that is both alluring but sinister.(song is available on a single).
The score itself too is something of a sinister and apprehensive listening experience, with the composers utilising both synthetic and symphonic elements to fashion a work that is rich in tantalising and vibrant material. The opening track on the recording THE MAIN THEME is a fusion of electronic and conventional with a beautiful and melancholy cello performance taking centre stage amongst a tense atmospheric background, it is very much a case of bittersweet as the cello weaves a beautiful and emotive theme whilst the support is rather sinister and certainly apprehensive although melodic in a disconcerting way. Track number two, THE ELITE is a more upbeat performance, which after a short introduction that is slightly edgy and does not give anything away as to what direction this will be going, percussion is brought into the equation, creating an upbeat and driving piece, which is punctuated by voice effects and a not unpleasant theme which although still remains slightly tense has to it plenty of appeal. Track number three, DROPS is too an up tempo piece, which builds and builds creating even more of a tense and nervous mood. Track four REBELLION is a more driving composition, swirling music acts a background to both female voice and angry sounding brass that is again supported via electronics to fashion more tense and dark atmospheres. Overall it is a great listen, it is relentless in its creation of dark musical personas and also purveys many entertaining and interesting themes. Another one to add to your collection, available on digital platforms.
Amine Bouhafa is a composer I happened to come across quite accidentally when exploring various web sites and digital platforms. His gift for creating wonderfully attractive melodies soon becomes obvious to any listener after listening to a mere handful of his compositions for film and television. He has this knack of fashioning a melody which almost instantly mesmerises or captivates the listener. I know that the purpose of movie music is to support the film or project, but this composer not only achieves this but also moulds themes and tuneful musical apparitions that are highly impacting away from the story that unfolds upon any screen, small or large. There is a richness and even a sumptuous atmosphere to his music, in fact I would describe it as being a fusion of vintage Hollywood or the Golden age of film music, which was fully romantic and overflowing with an abundance of lush and lavish themes plus there are also elements of the Silver age of movie scores present that include dramatic and driving components that are complimented with beautifully touching nuances, that seem to appear from nowhere to develop into fully emotive and affecting compositions. But, alongside all of this we can also hear a style that is undoubtedly innovative and individual, which of course is the composers own unique musical fingerprint, his light and delicate themes or hints of themes are understated but still shine through to make an impression which is lasting and enriching. His most recent score PLACE DES VICTOIRES is a delightfully charming affair, the composer employing strings and piano to create melodic and haunting pieces, the six note motif that is the foundation for the core theme on which the remainder of the score is built is heard in various guises throughout the score, with the composer presenting it in a fresh and vibrant way on each outing at times underlining or punctuating it with subtle accordion or pizzicato strings that add a slightly lighter air to the proceedings. The emotive content of this work overflows and at certain points literally oozes from the speakers of one’s hi-fi. There is a fragility to this work that touches the listener almost instantly, Bouhafa, making effective use of lilting and poignant musical passages that develop into accomplished and polished melodious compositions which are difficult to forget easily. The style employed here, I think could be likened to that of Zbignew Preisner or even at times Debbie Wiseman I know these composers maybe worlds apart stylistically but the sound the aura and the musical persona that s projected within PLACE DES VICTOIRES just evoked certain scores by both of the aforementioned composers. There is simplicity and also at times more involved writing, but each support and compliment each other and together create a score that will I think become a firm favourite and unforgettable. Recommended.