Category Archives: REVIEWS IN BRIEF.

DJINN.

djinnAs I have said so many times before Horror movies crave music, they need it probably more than any other genre of film and are a wonderful genre in which a composer can become creative bringing terror and even more foreboding to an already scary movie. DJINN is one such case in point, the movie is already a jumpy and frightening viewing experience, but add to this a realy atmospheric and chilling soundtrack and well, get out of my way I am behind the sofa under the duvet or even out of the house. Composer B C Smith who worked on other scores such as SMOKE SIGNALS and MOD SQUAD has fashioned an all-electronic work, which not only scares the pants off the listener but supports and underlines each and every terrifying frame of the movie superbly. I say this is an all-electronic score, which is true but the composer creates some beautifully crafted passages throughout, which for me personally evoke the music of Italian group Goblin as well as composers such as Joseph Bishara, Fabio Frizzi and Claudio Simonetti, it is probably true to say it is more atonal than melodic, but this is a horror movie and one that certainly calls for harsh and at times abrasive sounding tones, which B C serves up in the bucket load. Its one of those scores that maybe you think I am not going to enjoy this, but in the end, you love it because it is so inventive and also does the job it is supposed to. At times it is sparse and dark with a brooding and apprehensive persona that lingers or hovers throughout, it is suspenseful and multifarious as within the movie it accompanies the central female character as she gradually and helplessly falls into insanity. The soundtrack does contain a slightly more emotive side, but these colours and textures are few and far between and largely are utilised to enhance any warm and close moments experienced by the family, for which the composer turns to solo piano. This is a score that will bring to the surface many emotions and senses, and one that I think will be recognised as a masterful work within the horror genre. Available on Howlin Wolf records, who have done a great job on the presentation, the release also has liner notes courtesy of the composer, worth checking out.

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SAKANOUE ANIMAL CLINIC STORY.

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Based On a serialised story in a monthly magazine, SAKANOUE ANIMAL CLINIC STORY, is a warm and rather melancholy drama which involves a young vet. Who is engaged as a practitioner in a small surgery by an older Vet. Because of the area and because the older vet is well known within the community most of the people from the area take their animals to the surgery for treatment. The young vet, KO, is eager to learn from his mentor but it is not long before the old vet disappears and leaves KO a note saying that the surgery is all his now. Although it is a mystery KO takes on the practise and soon becomes masterful and caring at his craft, referring to his animal patients as TAILS and as he fixes and cures his tails, he also heals the hearts and souls of their owners. The music for this heart-warming series is the work of composer/producer Yuki Hayashi, and for this project the composer has created a score that is filled with easy going and poignant themes that stand side by side with comedic interludes and a handful of more contemporary up tempo cues, the composer makes effective use of light and airy pizzicato, that at times is supported by percussion giving it a jaunty and almost mischievous or cheeky sound. Hayashi also makes wonderful use of solo piano throughout the work, and it is the piano that can be said to be the foundation of the score, creating emotive and haunting themes that the composer elaborates upon adding more instrumentation as the score progresses. There are also a handful of cello performances and these are embellished via beautiful violin performances adding  even more tenderness and melancholy to the proceedings. This is an inventive work if nothing else, with the composer employing an array of quirky sounds and instrumentation. Its an interesting work and one that you return to to listen through again and again. The lilting and melodic thematic material evokes a sound and style that we have already experiences with composers such as Joe Hisaishi in scores such as SPIRITED AWAY and HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, the delicate nuances and elegant tone poems invading the listeners mind and implanting themselves within their sub-conscious. Recommended…

TOLKIEN.

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Released this week is the soundtrack from the film that tells the story of J.R.R. Tolkien, the film TOLKIEN which is a Fox Searchlight release has a musical score composed by much in demand American born music-smith Thomas Newman. The composer’s style is well known and much respected within the film music community, drawing accolades from, critics, peers and fans alike. Newman’s score for TOLKIEN for me personally is something of a disappointment as I found it lacking in any grand or powerful musical gestures, I was also surprised that the composer made extensive use of electronics within the score, taking into account the time period in which the film is set, There are of course numerous melodies present as with any score by Newman, but and there always seems to be a but these days, I was not convinced that the score is in-keeping with the subject matter, maybe I am wrong (probably). There are some nice moments, but nothing spectacular. Which I suppose is Newman’s trademark, understated, fleeting and melodically hinting to a more expanded thematic piece, but never really getting there. Saying this I was not tempted at any point to move the soundtrack forward or skip any tracks, so that’s a plus and I did return to it and listen through again fully before reaching any decisions. But listening to the music just as music I think one assume that it could be from any type of movie or to be fair it could be from an instrumental compilation of new age sounds. At one point I am sure I could hear CAROL OF THE BELL or at least remnants of that theme, weaving in and out. I know you will probably think I am being unfair or a little harsh, but don’t forget this is just my own personal preference or opinion, I leave it up to you as collectors to reach your own decisions, whether to buy or not to buy. As is normal in a situation like this when I do have reservations about a score it normally goes on to win an Oscar or a BAFTA so roll on awards season when everyone can tell me I was wrong… Its not an awful score, but as I have said it is nothing earth shattering or groundbreakingly original or innovative. Sorry……Available on Sony Music on Friday 3rd May film will be released May 10th.

HELLBOY (2019).

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Following in the footsteps of Marco Beltrami and Danny Elfman, composer Benjamin Wallfisch, is the Maestro assigned to providing HELLBOY with an appropriate soundtrack. Wallfisch, has certainly stepped up to the mark for this one, the composer has created a high octane and rock infused work in which he utilises pounding percussion and crashing electronics to fashion an energetic and powerful work. However, I personally am not certain if I actualy like the score, maybe it’s the rock style that is in the background of the work, but I think this is key to the central character. There are a few cues that do have some nice rousing action passages where Wallfisch evokes the style and sound created by both Beltrami and Elfman when they gave HELLBOY his musical persona. Wallfisch, does at times bring a lushness to the surface via the use of strings which are both opulent and melancholy. There are also some nice brass stabs present throughout which give the work an urgent and edgy sound as they punctuate the proceedings. And add a greater depth and atmosphere to blaring and rasping brass flourishes that growl and combine with driving strings to push the action forward at pace. So a serviceable and fairly standard score which will obviously please many soundtrack collectors but nothing to realy shout about.

NEPAL-BEYOND THE CLOUDS.

 

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Cyrille Aufort is a composer I have followed for several years, his melodic and shimmering thematic music literally drapes and engulfs each project he is involved with. His ability to support and embellish every scenario occurring on screen is at times unbelievable, his music is varied and  powerful, whether it be dramatic, submissive, delicate or apprehensive.  Recently Movie Score Media have released his score for NEPAL-BEYOND THE CLOUDS. This work is no exception the normal high standard and wonderfully rich and highly emotive music that we expect now from this talented and gifted Maestro. The score is an atmospheric one, with the composer creating the many moods and atmospheres that a production of this nature requires. I am personally impressed with the composers use of violin and also cello that he supports with various string instruments and at times enhances these with piano and a scattering of light and glittering percussive elements and ethnic instruments.

 

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This is a score that will not only haunt but please the listener, it contains simple themes, but these are so emotive and poignant that they make a lasting impression upon one. Some of the cues begin with no real hint of anything that is lush or thematic but as if from nowhere a beautiful musical passage or motif seems to appear and totally mesmerises and charms. Of, course this is film music so there are a few harder or more dramatic sounding cues with the composer again utilising the string section to their full potential in which he creates stirring and at times apprehensive slanted cues. But the sound of emotion or the mood of melancholy and fragility is not too far away in which ever cue that you select to listen to. Piano performances are a delight and the composer’s ample employment of romantic, mysterious and even mischievous little nuances infiltrate the proceedings at regular intervals, the work has a freshness and a musical aura that just never allows the listener to ignore it. The composer does employ interesting percussive elements throughout which again make the listener sit up and take notice, keeping the score vibrant and attractive, one for your collection? Yes of course it is. I make no comparisons with any other score or indeed compare it to the work of any other composer, because this is Aufort at his beguiling and melodic best.

 

 

Track listing.

1.
Raj and Shiva
2:24
2.
Beyond the Clouds
3:12
3.
Flower Necklaces
1:23
4.
The Lost Valley
2:12
5.
9000 Dead, 23000 Injured
1:53
6.
Crash
1:52
7.
Himalayan Friendships
1:52
8.
Cello Solo No. 4 (Franck Bernede)
1:25
9.
The Bridge
1:34
10.
To Each His Own
2:20
11.
The Lark
1:19
12.
The Kites
1:58
13.
The Assault
1:52
14.
Cello Solo No. 2 (Franck Bernede)
1:17
15.
How to Live Well
1:25
16.
Regrets
2:29
17.
Beyond the Clouds Epilogue