It’s a funny thing, when you collect film music you sometimes think that you know the style of many of the composers that you favour, well I thought I knew what to expect from composers Gus Reyes and Andres Sanchez, up until I heard their score for, LA IRA O EL SEOL that is, When I first started to listen I thought, this is certainly different, but I should know that composers who write for film are a talented bunch and are able to alter their style and also the sound that they create from film to film, to suit the scenario of the film and also the style of the movie. LA IRA O EL SEOL contains a score that is a lot darker and complex than anything Sanchez and Reyes have written before, well at least darker than anything I have heard from them. This is a menacing sound here, a virulent and chilling persona comes through and does effectively chill one to the bone. It is in my opinion one of the most accomplished and polished scores that they have penned to date. I am a fan of dark and shadowy scores and this one fits the bill perfectly, there is a real sense of the unknown and the foreboding purveyed within the work, often fleeting sounds or hints of themes and motifs can be disconcerting for the listener as one is trying to focus upon what one thinks is an emerging theme, but instead another sound hits you out of nowhere, the cue HELL on the score is a harrowing piece and the composers make effective use of choir and Soprano, I would not say that it is a melodic cue, but more of an impacting and powerful one, with the voices of the choir bringing an uneasy and unnerving quality to the work.



These attributes also manifest themselves throughout the remainder of the score, the composers creating a sinister and unhinged sound that for me evoke the works of composer Gyorgy Ligeti, in REQUIEM ll: IL KYRIE and ATMOSPHERES. The use of the human voice being a vital component to the creation of a fearful and near chaotic sound. I have to say that when listening to many of the cues on the score I did feel uncomfortable as in spine tingling so. LA IRA O EL SEOL is a robust and vibrant work, complex yet attractive, uneasy yet at the same time mesmerising. Take a listen, it’s a rewarding experience. Recommended.




The composing powerhouse collaboration that is Gus Reyes and Andres Sanchez is once again with us.  One of their more recent projects, FALCO the TV series season one is I have to say another excellent work with these two versatile and talented composers not failing to excite, entertain and wow, with their inventive and innovative style of scoring. FALCO is an up beat and commanding score that is filled with haunting musical hooks and pulsating beats, it is a work that is very much contemporary in its style, the composers utilising synthetic sounds alongside a more conventional style, but it is on this occasion the electronic side of things that dominates and is effective. The composers establish a core sound early on in the work, and from this they build their atmospheric and darkly enticing yet up tempo score, in many ways I was reminded of the work of Giorgio Moroder mainly in MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, it has that aura and persona to it, the tense and nervy sounds create layers of tension which build and multiply to fashion a stressful atmosphere. This mood is present throughout most of the score, with the occasional respite, that at times lulls the listener into a false sense of security. I found myself totally immersed by the dark and tense style that is employed within the soundtrack, and at times although not thematic it still held my attention and was in a strange way mesmerising. This is a brooding and understated work at times but every now and then we are treated to a hint of a theme that does on occasion burst forth as in the track BASEBALL. I also think and this is a personal thing, that there are within the score a few references to the music of the Euro western, just little nuances, fleeting sounds and even a strumming of guitar placed at a strategic point in the proceedings, kind of evokes the sound we associate with the likes of Morricone, Nicolai and Ferrio. Overall this is a score that I am confident you will savour and enjoy, so add it to your collection.



In these days of film music being purveyed by varying methods and also via different musical mediums such as samples, or synthetics as well as symphonic and acoustic, I get a little frustrated that certain composers who are so talented get overlooked, Theodore Shapiro is one such uber talented composer arranger, his inventive music has graced many a movie in recent years and he has also worked on a multitude of genres. With each project his musical prowess in my opinion has grown and he is a composer who I think is capable of anything no matter what genre of film, whatever the scenarios are etc. BOMBSHELL is probably one of his most inventive scores, and one that I will say here and now I enjoyed immensely. I love the way in which the composer creates atmospheres and layers of moods via his use of both upbeat percussion and female voices that are underlined and supported by strings and infectious sounding backing tracks. Certainly one to check out and add to the collection, the same can be said for LAST CHRISTMAS although its billed as having a soundtrack by Wham and George Michael, the actual score is by Shapiro, it’s a subtle and light work, which contains lots of melancholy and is overflowing with touching and emotive interludes, these may not be memorable but are definitely entertaining and work well in the movie and away from it.


Listening to the score is in my opinion a carefree and uncomplicated task, the music washes over you, and just gives pleasure. Shapiro, is a talented composer and an artist that really needs to be recognised more fully for his accomplishments in the field of film scoring. I for one loved his CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS and also liked the film (probably a bit too much, but that’s another story). His score was a parody of everything that was remotely comic book hero, but it also had to it a lushness and a commanding aura, containing great themes, that were rich and vibrantly affecting. It was a kind of SUPERMAN, meets BATMAN meets a glitzy show tune. Very entertaining.



But then there is his dark and atmospheric score for DESTROYER, tense and sinister, but at the same time beautifully emotive. Plus, one of my favourites by the composer, A SIMPLE FAVOR, which contains some inventive compositions and equally quirky orchestrations. So, Shapiro, is in effect a consummate and Chameleon like composer, providing so many styles and differing sounds for each of his projects.


His score for the GHOSTBUSTERS re-boot is a score that is filled with a sound and style that is highly charged and contains some sublime musical moments. Especially in cues such as THE GARRET ATTACK, in which the composer utilises choir alongside rasping brass and pounding percussion. Shapiro is in my opinion an unsung hero of film music, and I hope in 2020 this will change.

So back to one of his recent scores BOMBSHELL, It is a soundtrack that has to it a very appealing sound and also a style that is highly original, the composers combination of voices and instrumental pieces is stunning and is wonderfully affective, there is to this work a simplicity but at the same time a more complex persona that lingers in the background, the attractive, entertaining, inventive and quirky orchestrations too shine throughout the scores running time. Shapiro, inventing, experimenting and establishing his own musical fingerprint and placing it firmly upon the movie. I love the freshness and the vitality of the score with its expressive energy and melodic content. The track PROBLEMS WITH WOMEN is particularly entertaining, the composer making use of percussive elements to create an up-tempo background to which he adds a near comedic sound which is purveyed by pizzicato.


But for me it is the use of human voice or at least sounds made by it within the score, again simple but so affective, saxophone too features that punctuates and embellishes on several cues. This is a score that is highly recommended, it has to it the E factor, E standing for Entertaining.