I first discovered Mexican born composer Gus Reyes a few years ago when I heard his score for THE DARK SIDE OF LIGHT and have ever since followed him and listened to his scores with much anticipation. Glad to say I have always enjoyed the composers varied and entertaining soundtracks, EL COMPLOT MONGOL is certainly no exception to the rule, he has collaborated on this energetic sounding and rhythmic score with two other composers, Andres Sanchez Maher and Dan Zlotnik. Reyes and Sanchez Maher worked together on the excellent EL CHAPO, which if you have not heard, you should. I have to say I really enjoyed the varied line up of styles and sounds present within EL COMPLOT MONGOL, from wild sounding Mambos, retro fashioned cues that would not be out of place in any James Bond movie or even a Matt Helm adventure, and laid back themes that could be off an album by Antonino Carlos Jobim. Without sounding negative the entire score is wonderfully over the top rhythmically and it’s a score that one can listen to without having to thnk too much about, because its such an entertaining listen. Jazz influenced, Latin compositions dominate the work, but it also has a great dramatic and action fuelled side to it. Even the percussive elements as in bongo’s are well done adding a tense and apprehensive atmosphere to the proceedings. Take the track GRINGO AGENT, this is fantastic stuff piano and drums acting as the foundation to an upbeat tempo with brass and guitar laying down an infectious theme throughout. This is one of the favourite cues on the CD and as I have already mentioned it creates a sound and a mood that is retro and attractive in every way.
Its film music but its also music and music to be savoured enjoyed and then listened to again. Then we have THE RUSSIAN WALTZ, wonderfully atmospheric, with pizzicato, harpsichord, balalaika sounds and strings combining to fashion a quirky and somewhat comedic piece, which at times segues into something a little more up-tempo but only briefly, soon reverting to the waltz style. I think THE ACTION MAMBO too is a track I returned to a few times, simply because of its entertainment value, brass and percussion forming again an alluring and toe tapping composition that I think Lalo Schifrin would be proud of.
TAXI REFLECTIONS too is a cue that will have you mesmerised, with its slow-paced percussion acting as a backing track to saxophone performances. It is a score of many colours and textures musically, and I think maybe I do detect something resembling a combination of Spaghetti western/Giallo sound in the last cue THE FINAL CONFLICT. All I can say is this is soundtrack that packs a punch and entertains on many levels, recommended.