MOVIE SCORE MAGIC.

So many great soundtracks around now, and a lot of them have been released digitally by the Swedish soundtrack specialist label Movie Score Media, I have said it many times and will probably say it again and again, that this label is a hive of activity and releases scores that would ordinarily probably not see the light of day. They are a label that I will always support and always look to for innovative and sparkling film score releases. Their release programme is it seems unstoppable, but unlike other soundtrack labels in Europe and in the United States they never seem to release reissues, which for me is fantastic, because one knows that any release will be something fresh. The label has in the past year or so brought lesser-known composers to film music fans attention and at the same time also given them hope that the art of film music is still alive and well.

So, let’s look at a few of these more recent releases. The label has recently released  The Cellar by Stephen McKeon, which is a dark and chilling work, a complex and also an unnerving score that sends tingles and shocks through one when listening.

Although it is a score that many would say is largely atonal in its musical make up, it still contains a rich thematic quality, yes its edgy, its shadowy and filled with dread most of the time but the apprehensive sounds are interesting and also alluring in a strange way. It’s a work that I am sure you will enjoy, overflowing with a foreboding and fearful persona, which at times for me evoked the music of Chris Young in the Hellraiser soundtracks that he worked upon. McKeon first came to my attention a few years ago in 2018 when he scored Pilgrimage, which again was filled with dark and fearful colours and textures, but also like The Cellar was an interesting and entertaining listen. That score too was issued by Movie Score Media and is available on digital platforms such as Spotify.

Then there is Ruben De Gheselle’s brooding yet sensitive score for the documentary A Cops and Robbers Story, which is about a New York cop whose career is threatened by revelations about his former life when he was a member of a gang. The score adds much to the film and lends a tense, serious, yet intimate sense of drama to the storyline.

 Again, available on digital platforms everywhere, it’s a work that you should not overlook, yes it’s from a documentary and not a feature film, but the music is superb and underlines punctuates and enhances throughout, plus it is well worth listening to away from the film as it for me at last was an entertaining and enjoyable listen. In 2018,

Movie score Media released Wildwitch by composer Flemming Nordkrog, this year the label has issued one of his recent works from the movie Ogre which is a fantasy drama, the composer combines symphonic elements and styles with soundscapes to create a work that is inventive and totally consuming.

The score contains the simplicity of a child humming, a whistler and utilises solo performances throughout to fashion an alluring, beautiful but also an unsettling sound. Again, it’s a score that you should check out, the tantalising and haunting style will remain with you long after you have stopped listening to it.

Swedish composer Oscar Fogellstrom has written an atmospheric and mostly electronic horror score for the Yam Laranas film, Rooftop, which tells the story about a group of friends who experience terror because of a prank that goes horribly wrong. T

he score is wonderfully effective in the movie and has to it various quirks and sounds that at key moments evoke the work of John Carpenter, the composer introducing sinister sounding synth-based stabs and motifs throughout the work. It is a dark and unsettling score, but also has to it glimpses of lighter more pop infused cues that occasionally break through. Well worth checking out. As is the composers score for Greed, also on Movie Score Media and available now.  

 I thought how potent that this score was when I first heard it and returned to it a few times after my initial listen. Powerful, affecting, and thematic, I think just about sums this up, at times commanding and grandiose with lighter and more fragile interludes complimenting and further enhancing the proceedings.

Why not have a Fogellstrom fest and listen to them back-to-back, which will also give you an idea of just how talented and flexible Fogellstrom is as a composer. Recommended.  

Composer Timothy Williams describes the movie/documentary Have You Heard About Greg? as “A story of struggle, courage and love“. The score is a work by three composers Timothy Williams, Chad Cannon, and Jessie Carmichael (Maroon 5).

This is such an affecting score, with an abundance of delicate and fragile airs, that at times totally wreck one’s emotions and play with the senses. All I can say is please take a listen to this, because if you do not experience this amazingly sensitive soundtrack then you will be poorer for it.

The label have released many scores this year, and a number of them have already been reviewed here at MMI, but it wont hurt to remind of some of the titles, such as Hostile Territory by John Koutsilinis which is excellent, also The Exorcism of God by Elik Alvarez and Yoncarlos Medina, which is one of the most atmospheric and scary scores I have heard in a while, then we have composer Liam Bates’s fun and grandiose sounding score for the spoof horror comedy Let the Wrong one In.

Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds by Manel Gil Inglada, which is an enjoyable romp of a score filled with proud themes and romantic nuances. Plunder Quest by Massimo Sammi, which I find difficult not to listen to everyday now.

The list it seems is endless, and let’s not forget The Drovers Wife, The Road Dance, Jump Darling, and The Last Film Show. All of which are soundtracks that ooze quality and inventiveness. So if you have not savoured any of the titles I have mentioned now is the time to do so. Quality and quantity going hand in hand rarely happens these days but with Movie Score Media its something that is the norm.

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