Two new additions to the Varese Sarabande club series, both of which have been issued before but not in expanded editions. The first is by composer John Frizzel and it’s a score that I found go some unfair criticism when it was released, probably because the movie was not a brilliant film, but Frizzel’s score I have always admired. Dante’s Peak is a rather lack luster disaster movie, with less than interesting performances from a cast that could have done better and a storyline that for many failed to be fixating in any way. Frizzel penned a score that in my opinion matched the action on screen and was in most scenarios far superior to the action that was being acted out on screen.

It is a shame that in many cases a bad movie often buries or takes the edge of a score that is essentially great movie music, and because the movie is less than endearing it is often the case that the score is forgotten or put into the same category as the film. It was in the 1990’s that we saw a revival of the disaster movie, and many productions such as Dante’s Peak attempted to emulate the blockbusters of the 1970’s such as The Towering Inferno and Earthquake. 1997, saw Hollywood produce two natural disaster movies which were based upon a catastrophic volcanic eruption, Volcano being the other.

Both scores were released on the Varese Sarabande label, So I suppose it was only right that following the Deluxe Edition of Volcano last year. This 2-CD set of Dante’s Peak includes its massive John Frizzell score—with themes by James Newton Howard, it is a triumph of explosive, symphonic splendour that has to it a powerful and attractive persona.

Composer James Newton Howard was originally commissioned to score the movie but was unable to complete the work he had started due to other commitments. Newton Howard penned two principal themes for the movie, these representing the volcano and the romantic aspects of the storyline. After having to depart the scoring of the movie, Newton Howard recommended that Frizzel take up the duties of finishing the score. Frizzel was short of time but delivered a massive and highly dramatic and thematic score for the production, writing his own impressive themes and also incorporating Newton Howards work into the fabric of the score. The music being tense, commanding, and driving but always remaining melodic. This latest edition includes the ninety-three-minute score for the movie and also features the original album version of the soundtrack. It is a worthy addition to any film music collection and a must have item for discerning movie music fans. Highly recommended.

The other soundtrack that is included in the Varese Sarabande club catalogue is Jerry Goldsmith’s atmospheric and enticing soundtrack for Love Field. Directed by Jonathan Kaplan the movie starred Michelle Pfeiffer and Dennis Haybert in an interracial romance amidst the racial friction of 1960’s Texas, which was set in the aftermath of the JFK, assassination. 

Up until the 1990’s many associated Goldsmith with movies that required action scores, but the composer always wrote highly thematic and emotive music even if it was secondary to the more robust and dramatic material.  Saying that however who could forget his delicate themes for A Patch of Blue and his fragile and emotional pieces in movies such as Islands in the Stream. The composer showed us an even greater degree of tenderness within the score for Love Field, including poignant strings and a blues influenced piano which perfectly underlined the storyline and evoked the period in which it was set. The score also contains numerous moments that are Goldsmith set pieces in which the composer creates atmospheres that ooze with an uneasy sound and a suspenseful and dramatic air, purveying a dark and at times sinister mood.

The score for Love Field was released by Varese Sarabande at the time of the films release, but the duration has been expanded to nearly double that of the original release on this deluxe edition, with blues pianist Bill Payne providing a selection of performance’s which eventually replaced parts of Goldsmiths score in the movie. Again another great re-issue from Varese and recommended.

Something special for you to sample is the score to After We Fell, which has original music courtesy of composer George Kallis. The movie is the third instalment of the popular After movie franchise and contains an attractive pop ballad performed by Tony Conrod which Kallis co-wrote. The score is a highly affecting one with the composer providing a touching and elegant sounding soundtrack that utilises delicate piano and strings that combine to convey a subtle sound that is filled with fragility and emotive auras.  Both the score and the song are now available on digital platforms and the movie is due for release in Europe on September 1st with the US release being on September 30th.

Also, can I recommend that whilst taking a listen to After we Fell why not check out another George Kallis score American Sausage Standoff, which is also available on digital platforms and is totally the opposite musically, with this soundtrack not being as emotive although it does have a handful of poignant moments, after all its George Kallis so we know that there will be some gorgeous melodies in there somewhere.  The sound achieved is grittier if that’s the correct description, with the music having a slight country flavour at key points. But this shows just how versatile and talented the composer is, easily being able to adapt his skills to suit any number of genres and scenarios and drawing from a varied palette of musical colours and textures to paint with.  I enjoyed both scores and I suppose that is down to the variation of sounds and styles within them.

The reboot or remake of Candyman is now in cinemas and the score too is available for your delectation and deliberation on digital platforms. The music is by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe who is known for his work on movies such as Sicario, Arrival, and Mother.

The score for Candyman is filled with tension and dread the music having to it a modernistic and experimental style and sound. But even if this is a score that is not filled with rich or luxurious thematic material it is an interesting one and has to it an attraction that at times becomes mesmerising.

The only cue that I would say is melodic is track number three Music Box, but even this has an uneasy and unsettling style that creates an apprehensive and shadowy mood. I do like scores that take this route and I found this to be a work that is powerful and one that perfectly underlines the movies sinister and unpredictable storyline. Take a listen. 

Randy Edelman’s score for Ghostbusters ll is now available on digital platforms.  I have to say I was not really a fan of this second instalment of the franchise, but there again I didn’t like the first one either and Edelman’s music on Ghostbusters ll  initialy failed to impress but listening to it again now I will say it has some nice moments.  I think that during the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s I kind of got all Edelman’ed out as he worked on so many movies, and his music took on a very samey and familiar style, with his scores for Beethoven, Kindergarten Cop, My Cousin Vinny, and Distinguished Gentleman having to them a very similar format and musical path. Although saying this his music for Come See the Paradise was affecting and haunting as was his glorious soundtrack to the sprawling TV movie epic Gettysburg and the fantasyadventure Dragonheart. Check Ghostbusters ll out see what you think.

Il Gatto e La Luna (The Cat and the Moon) is a 2019 production and the soundtrack by the ever-industrious Italian Maestro Marco Werba has just been made available on the likes of Spotify and Amazon, thanks to Plaza Mayor, it is a wonderfully thematic work, which also conveys an air that is chilling and suspenseful with the atmosphere drenched in mystery and sinister connotations which weave in and out of the more melodic material that the Maestro has penned or are a ever present background to them. It’s a delightful score with solo performances from Marco Santini on violin, organ solos, piano performances all of which have rich symphonic styles. For me personally it evoked memories of Morricone, Nicolai, and Donaggio, simply because of its luxurious and instantly alluring sound. One to add to your collection.

A horror that has already been released in the United States and aired on Netflix there, is Old Ways, Cristina, is a journalist of Mexican origins. She travels to the home of her ancestors in Veracruz to investigate a story involving witchcraft and healers. Once there, she is kidnapped by a group of locals who claim that she’s possessed by the devil and that she needs to be exorcised. She tries to escape but then begins to believe that her captors may be right. The score which is an atmospheric and inventive one is the work of composer Ben Lovett. This is a soundtrack filled with sombre and dark sounds, an innovative work that has very few light moments apart from a couple of cues in which we hear Spanish guitar. A soundscape of sinewy and tormenting unsettling compositions made up of both conventional instrumentation and synthetic elements that very rarely have any real thematic direction. It is made up from music and sounds that combine to create a chaotic and harrowing listening experience which keeps the listener on the edge throughout. The composers use of percussion being particularly effective, it is a work that serves the film and its storyline to the maximum at times the music and sounds creating the mood and helping amplify the impact of certain scenes. Worth a listen, again it’s on digital platforms.

The Red Orchestra:  was probably the most important resistance network in Nazi Germany, whose operations extended from Berlin and Brussels to Paris and its workings are now the subject of a new and informative documentary entitled The Red Orchestra, the music is by composer Eloi Ragot, who has written a beautifully rich sounding work for symphony orchestra, its one of those scores that you listen to through and through a few times because you just cant get enough of its ingratiating and dramatic sounding themes. Performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra this is something that you have to add to your collection, it is superb and released from the Movie Score Media stable and also available digitally. Ragot is a multi-instrumentalist and sound designer as well as a composer and is best known for creating intensely, dramatic and affecting soundtracks. He has worked on a wide range of genres and produced some exceptional scores for these. Eloi has been working on the Canadian feature film Reservoir which should be released soon. A self-taught pianist and guitarist, he is also a classically-trained trumpeter and studied musical analysis and writing. Since 2008, he has composed, arranged, and produced music for over 40 films and series for diverse production companies and television and was selected to many ‘artist-in-residence’ programs including the prestigious Berlinale Talent in 2017. This is a score you should not by-pass, it is melodic, haunting, and rewarding.

Trevor Jones and Christopher Gunning.

To Tokyo was released in 2018, but the score by South African born Trevor Jones has just been issued onto digital platforms, as with anything that Jones is involved with the music is exemplary and well structured, I have always liked the music of Trevor Jones and admired his attention to detail and his use of core themes. To Tokyo is a horror movie and involves a young girl who is challenged by her step-sister to return home, a young woman hiding from her past in a remote Japanese village, is abducted into a fantastic wilderness and pursued by a monster, with only four nights to escape to Tokyo and face her demons. The composers affecting and effective soundtrack contains ethereal sounding choral work which at times evokes his work on the 1995 movie Hideaway. This is interesting and different glad it’s been made available.

Only Murders in The Building is a new Hulu Original Series starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez, where we see the trio of would-be investigators start a true crime podcast after someone in their building dies suspiciously. The storyline is overflowing with some snappy comedy scenarios and the entire cast have great chemistry, as they blunder their way through trying to piece together evidence so that they can solve the mystery of this suspicious death that has happened right under their noses. Music is by composer Siddhartha Khosla, who provides a score that is jaunty, over the top, comedic, and emotive as well as being tinged with mystery. Well worth checking out and whilst doing so why not experience his other works for film and TV as in the four seasons of This Is Us and Looking for Alaska.

Also new to Spotify (other digital platforms are available) is Elmer Bernstein’s driving and adventurous score for Kings of the Sun, which has always been in my top five Bernstein soundtracks list.

Jerry Goldsmith’s Shamus too is now available as are a handful of Italian releases from the 1960’s and 1970’s which were previously not online and are presented in either expanded or re-mastered forms from composers such as Robby Poitevin’s, A.D. 3 Operazione Squalo Bianco, which has been give flawless sound quality, Angelo Francesco Lavagnino’s exotic and romantic score from I Tabu (23 tracks) and Malesia Magica (19 tracks)from Riz Ortolani. All worth a listen.

Sadly, there are many good soundtracks from both film and TV that never get a release, so the only way to sample these is by sitting down and watching the movies or the series that they are from. Netflix have in recent times either produced or added movies from all over the world to give their growing audiences an ever-varied selection. As have Amazon, and the likes of Now TV, and more recently Disney plus. In fact, these days we are somewhat pampered and spoilt for choice as far as on-screen entertainment goes.

But even now I do find myself flicking through to see if there is anything interesting on and invariably go back to listening to music or revisiting classics, which there are an abundance of on Netflix and the like. But maybe I am just very hard to please? Netflix do however have a great selection of foreign language movies or world cinema if you prefer, and these at times outstrip anything that is produced with the UK and US market in mind. And sometimes one finds a gem of a score amongst these.

The Cook of Castamar for example, which is popular now. There are a lot of horror movies and series within the Netflix library, Warrior Nun, which although certainly implausible nevertheless is quite entertaining, it’s like a more graphic version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

After waking up in a morgue, an orphaned teenage girl discovers she now possesses superpowers as the chosen Halo Bearer for a secret sect of demon-hunting nuns. The series which is entering its second season contains a supportive and inventive score from Jeff Russo, who has recently scored the HBO series Oslo, and has worked on Fargo the TV series as well as scoring Star Trek Discovery. His style is somewhat old school as in orchestral and symphonic with synthetics bringing up the support and giving weight and embellishing the more conventional elements of his works.

Russo also scored Cursed for Netflix, which contains a powerful soundtrack with the composer employing haunting Soprano voice, driving strings, and pounding percussive interludes to purvey a commanding and relentless style and sound. Worth watching.

There is a wealth of interesting movies and series available on Netflix, and most have scores that are worthy of a mention at least.  Back to soundtrack releases and a score for an animated feature, Un rescate de Huevitos, which was written by Zacarias M. de la Riva, who must be one of the most versatile talents working in Spanish film music at this time. The score has been released by Movie Score Media, who previously issued the composers soundtracks from Hierro (2009) and Automata (2014), the cinema-themed murder mystery Imago Mortis (2009), the Indiana Jones-inspired animated adventure Tad, The Lost Explorer (2011), the prison break thriller Below Zero (2021) and the precursor to Un Rescate de Huevitos, Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos (2015).

It’s an entertaining score and the composer does not hold back in creating a dramatic and richly thematic soundtrack and is available on digital platforms.

Another interesting score released on MSM is The Potato Adventure, which is composed by Panu Aaltio, it’s a comedy that involves an entrepreneur importing potatoes into Finland in the 17th Century, offbeat maybe, but the composer as always delivers a wonderfully Varied score. Worth a listen.

Laura Karpman

Marvel music have also released episodes 2 and 3 in the What if? series, music by the ever dazzlingly and talented Laura Karpman and scores that are not to be missed. That’s the lot for now, see you next time….


There is an impressive Spanish production being aired on Netflix now, The Coven of Sisters, or Akelerre was produced in 2020 and is a tale of witchcraft or at least the suspicion of it being carried out by a group of young women. I suppose it can be likened to Witchfinder General and The Crucible in some ways. I found it interesting and fixating at times, with the musical score playing an important part in heightening the tension and evoking the sinister and disturbing elements of the story. Set in the Basque country of Northern Spain in 1609, this is a riveting and at times complex tale. At the time in which this story is set there was an abundance of pagan legends and ancient traditions, and we see Judge Rostegui belonging to the Spanish Inquisition being sent to the area by King Felipe III, accompanied by a notary and a group of soldiers, his task to purify all of the region, traveling from town to town and from village to hamlet to burn any woman showing signs that they could be a witch. Rostegui and his entourage become obsessed with finding information about the infamous Sabbat because he does not believe in its existence. The Sabbat is said to be a feast where witches summon the Devil to swear loyalty to him and to mate with him.

The Judge arrives at an unnamed coastal village with no men because the male population are all away at sea where five girls who are in their 20’s are arrested: Ana, Olaia, María, Maider and a teenager Katalin.  They cannot understand why they have been arrested but are subjected to torturous interrogation in order to force a confession from them, admitting that they are Witches and are aware of the Sabbat. One of them Maider having her hair shaved from her head and tortured mercilessly whilst her inquisitors look for the mark of Satan upon her. A mark that is invisible but when prodded or stabbed shows no pain. Ana convinces the rest of the girls to invent the Sabbat that Rostegui is so desperate to discover.

Their plan is to take as long as they can to explain the ritual to their interrogators so that the men will be home from sea and will be able to save them. The girls use all their imagination to try and convince the Judge of the Sabbat and their involvement, they weave a thread of lies that convince the Judge that they are witches and perform a ritual in front of him and his soldiers and a priest. But Rostegui suspects that Ana and the rest are in truth not witches or are they and simply trying to enchant him? The Judge brings forward their date of execution, discovering that they have just been buying time with their fabrications. The movie is the recent recipient of five Goya Awards, which included one for its effective musical score by composer Aranzazu Calleja (The Platform, Taxi A Gibraltar).

The movie displays a commanding and well-structured account of the misogynistic and misguided religion of the Spanish Catholic Inquisition, of how it altered reality to its prejudices, and does not hesitate to display its blatant stupidity at times, imposing an unexpected twist on the story and projecting all these towards the political present in an eloquent way but never underlined thanks to its realistic inventory and also because of the way in which it is shot and directed with precision by filmmaker Pablo Aguero. The music for the movie is sensitively woven and enhances and supports without being intrusive or overpowering. In fact, it is the subtlety of the music and the placing of it also that makes this such an interesting, affecting, and entertaining score. The fragility and slightness of some of its themes are alluring and haunting, wonderfully underlining and punctuating each scene, giving them an authenticity, and creating uneasy atmospheres, that are claustrophobic and at times unsettling.

The score is a mixture of music and songs, whether these lyrics and songs are traditional or otherwise I am not certain, but their inclusion also purveys an authentic style and sound which serves the movie and its storyline admirably plus they become integral and important to the storyline.  Coven of Sisters, Coven, or Akelerre is essentially a horror movie, but  it is a film that makes one think about the plot and scenarios that arise from within it, sensitively scored by the composer who has provided a soundtrack that although not grand in any way but instead sinewy and understated and because of this the music is more powerful and has a greater impact within the context of the movie. Recommended, available from Plaza Mayor Company and on digital platforms.



Time again for another dive into to soundtrack releases old and new, and again it’s a bumper crop so I will keep things short sweet and to the point so that I can cover as many as is possible. Plus, now you can if you wish go onto the Spotify links provided to take a listen to certain cues from various scores. Some scores will get a fleeting mention and others a more expanded view, but please check out as many as possible because with reviews it is always a matter of personal taste and preference. Amongst this latest batch there are several releases by composers that maybe you are not familiar with, but it is always worth taking a listen as the new composers of today could well turn out to be the stars of film scoring in the not-too-distant future. Let’s begin with a new release but of a score from the 1970’s with Intrada’s impressive two-disc set of The Eiger Sanction, music by John Williams. I remember getting the original LP record which I think was on MCA and then later the CD release that was put out by Varese Sarabande, listening to this new edition of the score it has much-improved sound and seems to shine rather than have a dullness to it which as far as I remember was the case with previous releases of the soundtrack.

The LP sound quality being a little distorted in places. The opening theme straight away hooks the listener with its melodic but mysterious sounding theme being carried by the string section and punctuated and enhanced with harpsichord flourishes. For me this Williams theme has always reminded me of something that maybe Morricone might have penned during the same decade. In fact, the entire score does resemble something that the Italian Maestro might have written, with Williams combining dramatic, romantic, and mysterious colours with a lounge or easy listening sound to great effect. It was good to revisit the score and also all the extras that have been included. All in all, this two-disc set will be an interesting and valued addition to any Williams fans and to any film music collector. Get it while you can it will undoubtedly sell fast. Albert Glasser is probably one of the most underrated composers in the history of film music, he scored so many movies and was able to adapt his musical style to almost any genre.

There are many of his soundtracks on Spotify and the like, in the form of compilations a kind of best of if you like. Thankfully Kritzerland records issued a few of his scores onto compact disc, one being The Boy and the Pirates, which contains a rousing and typically Hollywood/Disney-esque sound when this type of movie was released during the 1960’s.

I suppose you could say it was a fusion of The Swiss Family Robinson, Devil Ship Pirates, and In Search of the Castaways.

The label has previously also released the composers scores to Invasion USA which is paired with his music for the movie Tormented, and his soundtrack for Earth vs the Spider, all four scores being filled with drama but also having to them a core that is melodic and memorable.

If you have missed these I urge you to take a listen, its quality film music.

The Match is a film that combines true events with drama and sport. Football being the sport in question and a game that was arranged by the Nazi’s in 1944 between an elite German team and a team made up of prisoners of war. A similar scenario to Escape from Victory, except this movie takes its subject matter a little more serious.

The film stars Franco Nero and is scored by Croatian composer Dalibor Grubačević, who has fashioned an emotive and affecting soundtrack, the score which is fully symphonic is a poignant yet dramatic, the composer utilising woods, strings and subtle percussive elements to create a work that is of a high quality.

There is a richness and haunting excellence within it that is hard to ignore, the composer weaving fragile and delicate themes into the fabric of his work whilst the central style and sound of the work is at times anthem like and inspiring. One to check out. Available on digital platforms and also from Plaza Mayor publishing. Recommended.

Continuing with a new release Nine Perfect Strangers is another interesting recent work from composer Marco Beltrami, and Miles Hankins. The TV series contains an elegant and haunting soundtrack, with the music becoming more and melodic and attractive as the work progresses. When I say attractive, I don’t just mean in a thematic or romantic fashion, but also in an upbeat way also, with the composers adding levels of drama and tension throughout dripping drops of tense and dramatic atmospheres in here and there.  I think Beltrami and Hankins have written some really affecting, innovative, and infectious music for this project, it is a soundtrack that you simply must own. It’s on digital platforms. 

The Night House has a score by composer Ben Lovett who on this occasion is credited as just Lovett, the film is one of the scarier movies around now and premiered at the Sundance film Festival in 2020, if you are a fan of movies such as It Follows and Hereditary, then this is the way to go. The music is as it should be, tingling and tense, but it also has to it thematic properties which although are fleeting and maybe only a backdrop to the unsettling material in the score, they are there and work well in the context of the movie. But being a horror/Thriller, the music was not written to entertain away from the images really, it is effective and at times engrossing and consuming. The composer underlining the uneasy plot and effectively adding depth and atmosphere to the story as it unfolds with a mix of symphonic and synthetic instrumentation, but certainly with the electronic having the upper hand.  The music fully integrates with the film’s storyline and images, and it is the music that at times is scarier than the film. Take a listen if you dare and whilst there check out the composers riveting soundtrack for Synchronicity which was released in 2016 and is also on digital sites.

Flag Day is thriller directed by Sean Penn who also stars in the movie alongside Dylan Penn, it focuses upon a Father, who is living a double life as a counterfeiter, con man and bank robber to provide for his daughter. The music is by Joseph Vitarelli, and is an intimate and affecting work, the composer utilising solo performances on many occasions which include violin, piano, and guitar. It is a sensitive score that although subdued and subtle in its presentation, style and sound becomes an important part of the movie and a mesmerising and elegant soundtrack filled with delicate tone poems.  The score also contains more dramatic material as in the cues The Robbery and Chase, but for the most part this is a pleasing and touching soundtrack. Well worth a listen. The Forgotten City is a mystery adventure game for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. And that is basically all I know about it, the music however is more than interesting the composer Michael Allen has written a powerful and relentless score that is filled with grandiose and adventurous moments, at times becoming lush, lavish and epic it is a vibrant and robust sounding soundtrack, overflowing with grand themes, booming percussion and proud and driving brass and strings, you must go and check this out NOW.

Matthew Herbert’s score for the 2021 movie Port Authority is an atmospheric one, released by Movie Score Media and available on digital platforms, it is a soundtrack that I think is accomplished and inventive, the composer has realised his work via electronic means and creates a stylish and textured series of themes that are layered and mainly subtle in their style. It is a score that one can listen to and be totally mesmerised because it conveys a kind of hypnotic aura throughout. It will be a score that is maybe a n acquired taste but do take a listen.

Protégé is a 2021 thriller which stars Samuel L Jackson, Michael Keaton and Maggie Q, the movie directed by Martin Campbell is scored by Photek a British born record producer, Dj, and composer. Real name Rupert Parkes who works in drum and bass, deep house, and downtempo genres of music. He has provided this tense thriller with an even tenser and apprehensive soundtrack, again this is mainly realised via electronics but  also contains some nice percussive moments and female solo voice performances that add depth and atmosphere to the proceedings. Its one that you might find interesting give it a spin.

Professor T is a series that seems to be attracting a fair amount of attention on British TV at the moment, and there have also been some positive things said about the music for the series which is encouraging, the score will be released later this month by Silva Screen records and is the work of Hannes De Maeyer who is one of Belgium’s most versatile composers, best known for his collaboration with director duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, recently listed among ‘Variety’s 10 Directors to watch’ with their third feature Gangsta (Patser).

His scores range from pure electronic to affecting and impressive symphonic soundtracks, as well as everything in between. His music for Professor T is superbly done, it underlines the action, elevates the storyline and is also attractive and enriching away from the images it was written for. The elegant and colourful music is one of the main attributes of the series, being thematic, and varied. Recommended.

Composer Kevin Kiner has always in my opinion produced great film scores and one of his more recent assignments is no exception. Star Wars-The Bad Batch vol 2 (episodes 9 to 16) is a brilliantly done set of scores, and Kiner pulls out all the stops to fashion a rousing and relentless work, filled with brass, percussion strings etc and supported by synths. It’s a release that one will listen to over and over, the music is just so appealing and has to it a pulsating and driving persona, there is darkness, light and hints of melancholy within the soundtrack, with fragments of John Williams original themes shining through from time to time. I think its one that collectors will be listening to over and over. Good stuff.

Alun Richards has crafted a serviceable score for State of Desperation, in fact it’s a clever and consuming work because it often relies upon being subtle and soft, but then out of nowhere we get hit full in the face by an eruption of sounds that startle and surprise. I think there is a handful of conventional instrumentation employed here and there but for most of its duration the score is performed via synthetic means. Not that this is any way a slight on the effectiveness or the quality of the music and musical sounds. Its one that you may like, check it out on Spotify etc.

One of the latest movies to be produced by Netflix is Sweet Girl, and it has a score by Award winning composer Steven Price, and I have to tell you the soundtrack is superb. The opening track alone sends shivers up your spine I’m a Part of You, is stirring stuff, with the composer creating a theme that builds and continues to become more vibrant and robust, this is film music for a contemporary movie but has to it that vintage movie theme appeal. It has everything, melancholy, emotion, poignancy, and high drama. Amazing score and movie. Please do not pass this one by and check out the movie and see how well the score works.

What you were expecting to be a nice quiet and romantic night in with your wife’s turns into a nightmare as police break into your home arrest your wife for murder and beat you to death, no its not the latest episode of Emmerdale, but the starting point of a video game entitled Twelve Minutes, the music for the game is by Neil Bones, and it has to it a sinister, macabre and Hermannesque style to it. There is a shadowy and dark musical entity present which at times although sounding threatening and foreboding can also have to it a melody or a thematic property. Video game music has come so far in recent year’s and this is a score that I would say is a contender for being mentioned in dispatches in the future. I found it appealing in a slightly unsettling way and will I know become a favourite for many.

Swiss composer and sound designer Jakob Eisenbach (Patient Zero, Temple of the Diamond Skull), in partnership with Truevr Systems, a world-leading developer of location-based virtual reality (LBVR) game experiences, releases the original soundtrack to Tikal: Night of the Blood Moon on August 19th. Now available at VR locations in North America and Europe, Tikal:Night of the Blood Moon is a full-body VR arcade experience utilizing motion capture, physical props and 4D effects to teleport players into an ancient Mayan temple where you and your team are dispatched to stop the awakening of evil in the shadow of the blood moon. Truevr’s most sophisticated experience to date and setting a new benchmark for the LBVR industry, Eisenbach’s original musical score was recorded with a full symphony orchestra and choir in Budapest, Hungary. It is lush and luxuriously thematic, grand, and opulent with action cues heard alongside sumptuous and lavish romantic compositions. This is one for you, no question.

Electronic Arts and Dice has announced that two-time Grammy Award, Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy, and BAFTA Award-winning composer Hildur Guðnadóttir (Joker, Chernobyl) alongside composer Sam Slater (score producer Joker, Chernobyl) will score the latest entry in the Battlefield franchise, Battlefield 2042. Worldwide digital release of the album will be via Lakeshore Records. Lakeshore Records and Invada Records will co-release the vinyl edition. More details in future Soundtrack Supplements.


If I said to you Bollywood, what would come to mind straight away, well if you are in the same mind set as me then dancing, singing, vivid colours and very little storyline or plot, yes?  I thought so. But if I said to you Bollywood Horror, well maybe that’s a different bucket of blood all together. Its an odd thing the Bollywood/Horror, but when you combine the looks and the sounds of what we think of as the more traditional Bollywood production with that of horror we end up with a genre that is very odd indeed. The Bollywood productions are full of light and have to them a joyous atmosphere radiating from them, where as the horror film is dark, shadowy, ominous, and foreboding. So can these elements work when combined, lets have a look shall we. A Bollywood Horror is basically everything a Bollywood production is but it has a sinister or horrific plot.

This combination genre dates back as far as the 1940’s with one of the first productions being Mahal which was released in 1949. Ok, it may not be the most popular genre, but the Bollywood Horror has continued to gain momentum with one movie from 1992 entitled Raat, becoming popular outside of its country of origin. So, let’s start with Mahal, which is a drama, horror, and a mystery all rolled into one, it is essentially a ghost story, but there are little sub plots and twists within the storyline that make this a fascinating and alluring watch.

A lawyer moves into a new house but is unaware that the former residents have died in mysterious circumstances after moving in. He is confronted and haunted by a ghostly looing female figure, who we discover is waiting for the reincarnation of her lover who has died, the women thinks that the lawyer is this re-incarnation, each time she appears the lawyer is filled with a desire to be with her, so it is a ghost story with romantic themes. It is a fascinating movie even if now somewhat dated. But as with all Bollywood productions it has a soundtrack that is also interesting with the central song being a romantic affair entitled The one destined to return will come, which is reprised throughout the film, a deeply emotive and profoundly poetic lyric sung by the then young vocalist Lata and one that helped to make her name. The movie starts out in a stylish and up beat manner which at times evokes the style and the pace of a Hindi Noir film, and too has certain affiliations with better known movies such as The Ghost and Mrs Muir and Gilda. With the central female role reminding me of the grace and the presence of the wonderfully talented Ava Gardner, think of movies such as Pandora.But after a while the plot seemed to lose its way somewhat and went off the boil as it were, the sense of suspense and the sinister being lessened as aspects of the ordinary day to day life and world began to become more prominent.

It was however never boring and remained interesting to the last even if everyone in audience had an idea how it would end. The movie has an interesting and haunting soundtrack which drew from the more traditional styles of Indian music, and I think far outshines the now westernised beat and direction of Bollywood soundtracks these days. As mentioned in the introduction a popular Bollywood Horror is Raat from 1992, its an odd plot but one that manages to keep you on the edge of your seat with effective use of the stedi-cam and also a highly effective and atmospheric score by Mani Sharma which is running almost continuously throughout the movie, this is not the normal Bollywood soundtrack, but is more akin to the Giallo scores of Morricone and Nicolai, with sinister sounding effects and edgy stabs and sounds being utilised to enhance the ever building tension.

The composer making excellent use of strings, woods, and percussive elements, combining these with sharp and jagged electronic sounds to fashion a sinister and heart stopping soundtrack. The movie as I say is a somewhat acquired taste and at times does seem to wander off into various plot changes, but overall, I enjoyed it and I suppose is in essence a possession movie, with the central character carrying out murderous acts without being aware she is doing this. Worth a watch, the score as far as I can see was never released, but it is totally different from any other Bollywood soundtrack I have heard. The opening sequence is particularly interesting because there is no dialogue but the music is perfect in elevating the tense scene and giving an even greater impact.  A more recent Bollywood Horror is Dracula 2012, which combines the Bollywood dances and songs with the iconic Bram Stoker storyline, or at least an adaption of it.

It’s a somewhat strange take on the story, as one moment we are moving along with a fairly solid adaptation and then suddenly every so often up pops a song or a dance and even a quite risqué pop video type scene, lots of red and shiny pvc, it is a little confusing in fact it’s a bit of a nightmare, when you dream things that just don’t make sense and jump from one thing to another without any good reason.

The music is by female composer Babith George, but I am not certain whether she provided the orchestral or background score or just worked on the music for the songs?  The score itself is rather over the top and does at times suggest that the scene is more exciting than it really is.

No full score album is available but there are a few songs from the movie on digital platforms the opening theme from the movie being one of them, the first credit to appear on screen Music By now there’s a first. The special effects are rather weak also and seeing that it is a 3d production could have been better.  

A woman is murdered by her husband and he cuts off her hand, but the hand then has a life of its own and posses the films main character Pinky, who proceeds to take revenge on the mans family and that’s the plot of the movie. Khooni Panja.

This is not the best movie made and I would like to say I found some of it entertaining, but I didn’t, it was in a word laughable and apart from a few minutes here and there I don’t think it can really be called a horror movie. Lots of songs and a few Bollywood dance routines but nothing over the top with a instrumental score that is badly placed and at times out of synch with the action on screen, again the music seemed to be to dramatic when not required, the music is credited to Surinder Kohli and I have to say thankfully there is no soundtrack release.  

The next movie is Bhoot Bungla from 1965, it is billed as on of the scariest Indian horror movies and focuses upon a mysterious house which is said to be haunted by ghosts and spirits who spend their time scaring people by singing and dancing, well this is a perfect storyline for a Bollywood Horror, ghosts, ghoulies an old house and dancing and singing.  The music is by Rahul Dev Burman who was born on June 27, 1939 in Calcutta, British India. He is known for his work on the movie Sholay from 1975, 1942 A Love Story (1994) and Procession of Memories (1973). He was married to Asha Bhosle and Rita Patel. He died on January 4, 1994 in Bombay, Maharashtra, India. Bhoot Bungla is a mix of comedy, drama, and Horror but not horror in the sense of make you jump out your skin, the emphasise is definitely on the comedy element, and the music also reflects this, with cliched sounds such as musical saw and Theremin being utilised to convey a spooky situation, but mostly just making it even more comical. I found it hard to watch to be honest and the music did not help at all because it was scored at a high volume and jarred with the scenes rather than being subtle and enhancing and supporting them.  Well that’s a brief look at the Bollywood Horror. A genre that is quirky to say the least and mostly not scary, but more often than not badly acted and directed in the majority of examples, and I also have to say ineptly scored.