THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.composer Daniel Pemberton goes R.E.T.R.O. – Interview

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E soundtrack | ©2015 Watertower Records

With its mod rhythms, shagadelic exotica, bold brass, bongo-driven percussion and sheer, string joy in death-defying adventure against world-conquering wannabes (while of course not musically messing up the hero’s Carnaby Street tailoring), the era-specific sound of spy jazz has been making a making a comeback at the cinema, played for delirious height of kitsch by Geoff Zanelli and Mark Ronson in MORTDECAI, THE KINGSMAN‘s head-blasting drive by Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson, or used for pure chase adrenalin by Joe Kraemer in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION. But while those two movies are latter-day exercises in battling villainous Eurotrash, THE MAN …Read On »

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CD Reviews: GRABBERS and ROBOT OVERLORDS soundtracks

GRABBERS soundtrack | ©2015 Movie Score Media

Since throwing an executive team-building trip into a bunch of merc serial killers in SEVERANCE, Christian Henson has proven to be one of the more notably rising British composers with his particular talent for the genre, exploring an eerily time-trapping Bermuda TRIANGLE, then adding to the Sean Bean body count in the lethally atmospheric BLACK DEATH before playing one of history’s monsters for Saddam Hussein’s THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE. Movie Score Media has been a big proponent of this gifted and prolific composer, recently with MALICE IN WONDERLAND, THE SECRET OF MOONACRE, STORAGE 24 and his music for a new TV …Read On »

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CD Review: SOAPDISH (1,000 edition) soundtrack

SOAPDISH soundtrack | ©2015 Quartet Records

Having cut his very early musical chops traveling with a neighborhood Cuban band, it was destiny itself that Alan Silvestri would get to mix that island’s boisterous rhythms with a very American brand of hilariously bombastic orchestral drama for this all-star 1991 send-up. But then again, Silvestri did start his major scoring career with the adventurous Latin beat of ROMANCING THE STONE before playing the deliciously melodramatic cat fight of DEATH BECOMES HER, all of which made him a perfect over-actor to accompany SOAPDISH with this winning plethora of snappy mambo energy and exuberant orchestrations for a cult comedy score …Read On »

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CD Review: CHUCK soundtrack

CHUCK soundtrack | ©2015 Varese Sarabande Records

With geeks inheriting the television earth, it was only natural that a computer nerd named CHUCK would get his own cult NBC show, where he proved himself to be a more-than capable super-spy over the course of 91 episodes and five seasons. That’s quite a lot of time to make a musical impression with his ceaseless, CIA-embedded skills. But darn if composer Tim Jones’ brain didn’t stop cooking as he came up with one clever stylistic touch after the other, the best of which have now been collected to create a very strong musical impression on this titular CD. Of …Read On »

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CD Review: A FAR OFF PLACE soundtrack

A FAR OFF PLACE soundtrack | ©2015 Intrada Records

Way before she trekked the Pacific trail, Reese Witherspoon braved 2,000 miles of the Kalahari desert in this surprisingly perilous 1993 adventure film from the family-friendly likes of Disney, who were certainly showing surprising bite at the time with the such movies as WHITE FANG. Having released that double score (along with a bunch of worthy soundtracks from other unlikely Disney pictures), Intrada dips again into the well they first dug for PLACE at the time of its release, now coming up with 75 minutes to fully show off James Horner’s relatively unsung, strikingly epic score. Even though he ventured …Read On »

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CD Review: FALLING IN LOVE soundtrack

FALLING IN LOVE soundtrack | ©2015 Kritzerland Records

Movie jazz has always seemed to find a home in Manhattan, and few composers awash in the spirit of an unsleeping city of a thousand stories have embodied those rhythms with the distinctive, thematic flair of Dave Grusin. Given a trademark NYC sound most often comprised of mellow electric percussion, reflective piano and wistful strings, Grusin has heard the city as both a place of danger (THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR), gilded society (BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES) and eccentric criminal intent (THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE). But more often than not, it’s the vibes of beautiful, soft romance in scores …Read On »

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CD Review: ETHEL soundtrack

ETHEL soundtrack | ©2015 Perseverance Records

Having started off with some fairly wacky narrative films like STREETS OF RAGE and way more artistic indie efforts like AMY’S ORGASM, Miriam Cutler has essentially become one of the queens of documentary scoring to the rhythmic tunes of LOST IN LA MANCHA, ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT and the Emmy-nominated THE DESERT OF FORBIDDEN ART. Yet with so many works, Cutler remains truthfully under-represented on CD, a fact that Perseverance’s release of her score for the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary ETHEL does a charming, and ultimately moving bit to remedy. Reteaming with GHOSTS OF ABU GHARIB director Rory Kennedy for a very …Read On »

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CD Review: THE GREAT INVISIBLE soundtrack

THE GREAT INVISIBLE soundtrack | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

Ry Cooder’s ethereal scores merged country-folk guitar with blues rhythms, harmonica joining with rural percussion and eerie atmospheres of synths and metal to create such enticingly regional scores as SOUTHERN COMFORT, THE LONG RIDERS and PARIS, TEXAS – a landmark, often Tex-Med groove that has since been exceptionally taken up by David Wingo in such transfixing Southern Gothic scores asMUD and JOE. While Wingo has put his own melodic stamp on characters inhabiting the deep woods, the composer now chronicles the real deal as he plays one of the most catastrophic events to hit the Gulf of Mexico in the …Read On »

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CD Review: KING SOLOMON’S MINES (1,000 edition) soundtrack

KING SOLOMON'S MINES soundtrack | ©2014 Quartet Records

They were musical equals in my opinion. Yet for the better part of the careers of John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith, it always seemed that the latter was chasing the coattails of the first when it came to picture quality. For if John got Irwin Allen’s THE TOWERING INFERNO, then Jerry received that producers’ dog called THE SWARM. While John flew with SUPERMAN, Jerry remained earthbound in the enjoyably silly company of SUPERGIRL. But perhaps no second-cousin removed picture that Goldsmith got to score was a ludicrously close to aping a way better picture than when it came to comparing …Read On »

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CD Review: BISEXUAL and TAROT (500 edition) soundtrack

TAROT soundtrack | ©2014 Music Box Records

One of France’s most overlooked imports to Hollywood might be the late Michel Colombier, whose pop sensibilities particularly rocked the 80s with the funky synths of PURPLE RAIN, THE MONEY PIT‘s jazzy comedy and AGAINST ALL ODD‘s sensual Latin exotica – easily one of the era’s sexiest, and literally heavy breathing scores. But Colombier was just as lustful in the 70s even after stroking the ego of Hollywood’s biggest evil computer for COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT a carnal talent that Music Box reminds us of in the release of 1975s LES ONZE MILLE VERGES (aka THE 11,000 SEXES or the …Read On »

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