SOUNDTRACK SUPPLEMENT EXTRA.

Released on Plaza Mayor music, the score for the movie Mexican Gangster is the work of Andres Sanchez Maher, who has created an eclectic mix of styles sounds, colours and textures which are not just affecting and effecting but are entertaining to listen to as just stand-alone music away from the movie they were originally written for. I detected a gentle nod to the music of the western throughout and hints of blues and jazz which all go to make up a score that is varied and inventive.

I felt the soundtrack gave more than a gentle nod to the sound that is associated with the De Angelis brothers, in their scores for films such as They Still Call me Trinity, Afyon Oppio and others from the 1970’s. Having to it an upbeat tempo and a slightly pop orientated persona. However saying this there are many other cues within the score that are dramatic and apprehensive, at times these becoming powerful and filled with suspense.

The composer utilizes a wide range of instrumentation throughout, from laid back vibes punctuated by bass guitar, to timpani which raises the action led levels, and hints of harmonica, electric guitar and percussive elements which all combine to fashion a sound that is tantalizing and compelling. Its one of those scores that you start off thinking I am not sure if this is for me?

But by the time you have listened through it you are ready to go back and start all over again.

The music also has to it in places a definite Antonino Carlos Jobim feel, with light piano and woods producing an samba slanted easy listening style in a handful of the cues.  I recommend that you check this out, it is available now on all digital platforms.  

Also released by Plaza Mayor is the atmospheric soundtrack for the 2022 horror Mastemah, which has a score by Yvi Slan, the film focuses upon Louise who is a young psychiatrist, trying to recover and collect her thoughts after the death of a loved one during a hypnosis session. She decides to move away and try and settle in a small village, but things soon take a turn for the worse when a new patient arrives in the village displaying signs of strange behavior which causes Louise to take a turn for the worse sending her into a downward spiral mentally.

The score is more soundscape than actual music, with the composer utilizing unusual electronic sounds throughout to create an uneasy and nerve tingling atmosphere, that purveys a sinister and chilling persona.

Worth a listen and again its on digital platforms. Other scores worth checking out on Plaza Mayor include Nir Perlman’s haunting soundtrack for Toxica, The Hill Where Lionesses Roar by Aldo Shllaku, and Marco Werba’s excellent scores for A Kidnap and Broadway.

SOUNDTRACK SUPPLEMENT SIXTY SIX.

Welcome to Soundtrack Supplement, I hope that you are al well, there are a handful of interesting releases around, and I have selected just a few of these to include here.

Composer Alan Williams has for several years been scoring a variety of movies and documentaries. One of his recent assignments is for the Chinese made feature film The Legend of the Forest, this is a large-scale score, the composer employing a grand sounding orchestra to which he adds the sounds of traditional Chinese instrumentation.

This is a wonderfully thematic work that just overflows with a rich and affecting air, the fusion of the more traditional symphonic styles with that of ethnic Chinese performances is at times stunning and breathtaking.

The composer seamlessly integrating the contrasting styles both of which complement and support each other throughout the work. It is an enthralling and commanding score, brimming with a luxurious sound that can be compared with and evokes the music of the golden age of movie music, rich and romantic, apprehensive, and powerful, dramatic and melancholy, this is truly a great score. 

Part two of Ms Marvel is also released this month, the score by Laura Karpman is an infectious work, part two is a collection of music from episodes 4 through to 6, and is well worth checking out, inventive, innovative, and haunting in places, available on digital platforms.

Paws of Fury-The Legend of Hank is a fun score, as is the animated movie about a cool cat that is a canine, it literally oozes so many 1970’s musical trademarks, with Shaft like guitar and soul and funky vocals, music is by Bear McCreary, who treats us to a fun packed rollercoaster ride of disco infused cues.

Effective and affecting themes are scattered throughout the score, the composer creating a rhythmic and compelling soundtrack, disco meets Kung fu and a lot of funky stuff in between, great listen recommended.

 Noches de Paz is a 2022 short film, which has a brief but charming and haunting soundtrack by composer, Dennis Gleiss, when I say brief, it is just over 7 minutes in duration and contains just three cues, but each one of these is enchanting and mesmerizing. The movie focuses upon Leo a 9 year old child soldier who is tired of waiting at a military checkpoint. He sees how his adult soldier partners take away some refugees of the enemy side and cheers for them. When all this is over, he realizes a little girl and her mother, 2 more refugees, have escaped. The mother of this 11 year old girl Lisa, leaves her at the checkpoint where Leo is, without knowing he’s there hidden. Then she leaves searching for help. Moments after that, Leo comes out of hiding, and the two children meet. At first their relation is not good, Leo threatens to hand her over their soldier partners, and Lisa mocks him.

But as the night goes on, both experience situations that make them change and grow up. When the night ends, their lives and themselves won’t be the same anymore. The music captures and supports the storyline adding depth, emotion and atmosphere to it, the composer creating beautifully tender and fragile tone poems that weave in and out of the story as it unfolds on screen, well worth a listen and available on the likes of Spotify.

Composer Natalie Holt is in demand of late, with her work on Obi Wan Kenobi causing something of a stir amongst movie music fans, her score for the Hulu series The Princess, is also a work that I urge you to listen to, it is a mix of symphonic and synthetic,.

The composer melding these elements well throughout, to fashion a relentless and commanding soundtrack. It’s a score that has to it so many colours, textures and shadings of dark and light, there is a fearsome and foreboding mood that runs through the score, on which the composer builds the remainder of the work at times creating up-beat compositions and at other times realising a more traditional sounding symphonic sound. Natalie Holt is a composer I think we will be hearing a lot more of in the not-too-distant future.

At the turn of the 19th century, Pugilism was the sport of Kings, and a gifted young boxer fought his way to becoming champion of England. This is the story of the movie Prizefighter, which has a suitably edgy and hard-hitting soundtrack by composer Paul Saunderson, who works with percussive elements, synths, and urgent strings to create a wonderfully atmospheric and inventive score. Again, available on digital platforms.

Also a quick remainder that on Monday July 18th Howlin’ Wolf records will release Psycho Storm Chaser, music by the talented composer Andrew Scott Bell, the score for this horror, slasher, drama is superbly thematic and truly affecting and effective, the composer realising an atmospheric and moody musical persona that at times is reminiscent of Goldsmith and Williams, this is a must have release, powerful, relentless and above all thematic and haunting, the music is commanding and totally absorbing. Don’t delay order your copy of the compact disc now at Howlin’ Wolf Records (howlinwolfrecords.com)  and while you are there check out all the other horrific goodies including another new release Force to Fear by Matt Cannon, which is a brilliant synth score, that has to be heard to be believed.  

This week a two track single of music from the movie Sticks has appeared, music is by Lasse Elkjaer, this is another quality horror score, which contains nods to the style of composer Christopher Young, (shades of Hellraiser), this is well worth a listen even if there are only two tracks available at the moment, maybe the complete score will arrive soon?.

Hurts Like Hell-Chapter 1, is a Thai drama series that revolves around Muay Thai, a Thai sport regarded as a national heritage. The narrative unravels the dirty and underworld secrets of the once-respected sport through the eyes of boxers, referees, coaches, gamblers, and commentators. It dramatically depicts the illegal gambling and match-fixing that people indulge in, which become the reason for Muay Thai’s downfall. The series is airing on Netflix and has a score by composer Bill Hemstapat, it’s a mood laden work, thick with so many colours and textures that interweave and combine to create marvellously atmospheric moments throughout.  

The composer treating us to action cues that appear alongside apprehensive and tense sounding compositions, and dark fearsome percussive pieces. Well worth a listen, available on digital platforms.

Other scores on digital platforms this week include Death Count by the ever industrious and inventive Scott Glasgow, Jezabel by Tomas Barreiro, and a score that evokes the style and delicate touch of the much missed Maestro Georges Delerue, which is Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, music by Rael Jones. The latter title is highly recommended. Well, that’s it for another soundtrack supplement, happy listening.  

THOR-LOVE AND THUNDER.

Marvel, I think are now becoming a little predictable when it comes to music for their superheroes, the latest excursion for Thor has a musical score by Michael Giacchino,(with additional music by Nami Malumad). Giacchino has worked his way steadily to the top of the film music game, scoring numerous big box office hits Star Trek, The Batman etc and also provided great music for a few turkeys-remember John Carter. Thor Love and Thunder I felt was just a re-hash of so many of his past scores, there is for me at least nothing new here, nothing fresh and certainly nothing that is remotely innovative or inventive. I do know that each composer has their own sound their own style and also their own little quirks of orchestration or a favourite instrument which is included in the majority of their works for the big screen, but this is just a fusion of everything he has done before and maybe also a few nods to the likes of Horner, Tyler, Debney and even Goldsmith, but these just seem to jar and grate on the listener (at least this one). The Thor series has had a different composer for each adventure, all composers including Giacchino are of course interesting and have produced so many great scores, but for this latest adventure with the Nordic God of thunder is for this reviewer tired and not very interesting whatsoever. The inclusion of a rock orientated guitar finished it for me, although granted the composer did throw in a few bold sounding brass flourishes here and there and frenzied strings that bang out a theme that I thought was rather like a watered down Masters of the Universe, compare this to the music for say Moon Knight and it pales in comparison, and purveys quite a lack luster persona and sound, there are some saving graces and these include the cello solo that can be heard in a handful of cues, which is romantic, mystical and melancholy, and co-composer Nami Malumad’s The Zeus Fanfares which evoke the golden age of Hollywood in epic movies such as Ben Hur and The Robe. As for the remainder of the score, predictable, uninspiring, and even flat at times, with just the occasional high created by the fusion of soprano, choir and orchestra, but there are not enough of these moments and passages that have this aura to them. Its like one is waiting for the score to develop or a theme erupt , but neither happens. So, it’s a no from me on this one, but that is just my opinion, check it out now on digital platforms.

IT’S JUST A BUNCH OF HOCUS POCUS.

Let’s head back to 1993, and to a movie that I have to admit being one of my favourites, Hocus Pocus, which starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson Sisters a trio of Witches that were hanged by the nice folks in Salem after kidnapping and sucking the life out of a young girl.

Oh yes and they also turned her brother who attempted to rescue her from the clutches of the witches into a cat and cursed him to live forever. This Disney production was and remains a popular movie with kids of all ages. For many years now fans of the film have been begging Disney for a sequel, well the wait is now over, and Hocus Pocus 2 comes to Disney + on September 30th 2022. The three main characters return to the contemporary world to wreak havoc, run amuck and continue to suck the life out of innocent children, whilst at the same time raising more than a smile from any watching audience. Apart from being a great movie the original film also contained one of the best scores of the 1990,s which was the work of the highly talented American composer John Debney.

I am pleased to say that Mr. Debney returns along with the Sanderson Sisters for Hocus Pocus 2. So how do the Sanderson’s get to be resurrected once again after being despatched at the end of the original movie? Well, this time three young women accidentally bring them back to modern-day Salem and after doing so soon realise that they too must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from again going on a snatching rampage to give them the gift of youth.

The world may have been free of Winifred, Mary, and Sarah for nearly three decades, but they return and are ready to inflict even more fear and unease via their black magic and hap hazard antics. The new movie is directed by Anne Fletcher and written by Jen D’Angelo.

If you have not watched the original movie for a while and not returned to John Debney’s fantastic score for a few months, now is the time to watch and listen again, to get you ready for the return of the Witches. Stand by for magic, mayhem, and raucous goings on, in another dramatic, comedic and exciting instalment that pitches good against not so good. Cant wait……..

HOCUS POCUS 2, PREMIERES ON DISNEY + ON SEPTEMBER 30TH 2022.

THE RAILWAY CHILDREN RETURN.

I think even if you were not around in 1970, you would have still heard of the movie The Railway Children, and as a soundtrack collector would also be familiar with the soundtrack as penned by Johnny Douglas. The Railway Children Return is due in cinemas soon and the movie contains a hauntingly beautiful score by composers Edward Farmer and Martin Phipps. Both composers have contributed to the world of film and TV with Phipps probably being the better-known name for his work on The Crown, War and Peace, Victoria and more recently The Princess. Farmer too has scored Beyond Existence recently, which is a score that you should try and check out. The music for The Railway Children Return, is due for release on Movie Score Media on July 15th, and will be available on digital platforms everywhere.

The score is a delightful and richly thematic affair, symphonic and melodic it is in my opinion one of the best scores to be released thus far in 2022.

GODS COUNTRY.
SECRET AGENTY.

The work has to it an appealing and haunting musical persona, that is a entertaining and pleasant listening experience away from the images. The music being subtle but also quite lush and affecting, having to it that very English sound and style.

The score utilizes strings effectively the composers at times engaging solo cello to add a more poignant or emotive atmosphere to the proceedings. It is a score that has many attributes with the composers fashioning compositions that purvey sensitivity, drama, and melancholy. Check it out available soon. The Railway Children Return is directed by Morgan Matthews, written by Danny Brocklehurst and stars Jenny Agutter, Sheridan Smith, Tom Courtenay, Beau Gadsdon, John Bradley, K.J. Aikens, Austin Haynes, Eden Hamilton and Zac Cudby. The sequel to 1970’s The Railway Children is set 40 years after the events of the original and follows a new group of children who are evacuated to a Yorkshire village during World War II and encounter a young soldier. 

DREAMS OF HOME.