Category Archives: Soundtracks

Soundtrack News: Music From Netflix Original Series ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ Available 5/7

Milan Records announced today that the soundtrack album for the upcoming Netflix Original Series Jupiter’s Legacy will be released on May 7, 2021. The music for this series was composed by Stephanie Economou, who is a composer and violinist based in Los Angeles, CA. She has written the music for the Lionsgate/Starz series Step Up: High Water, as well as the second season of Manhunt: Deadly Games. Stephanie is a long-time collaborator of Golden Globe-nominated composer, Harry Gregson- Williams, composing additional music on scores such as Disney’s live-action re-make Mulan, directed by Niki Caro, Jon Turtletaub’s The Meg, Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer 2, Disneynature’s Penguins, and Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning film The Martian

After nearly a century of keeping mankind safe, the world’s first generation of superheroes must look to their children to continue the legacy. But tensions rise as the young superheroes, hungry to prove their worth, struggle to live up to their parents’ legendary public reputations— and exacting personal standards. Based on the graphic novels by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely, Jupiter’s Legacy is an epic superhero drama that spans decades and navigates the complex dynamics of family, power, and loyalty.

Of the soundtrack for Jupiter’s Legacy, composer Stephanie Economou had the following to say:

“This first season of Jupiter’s Legacy offers staggering diversity in style, scale, emotion and time period, so I set out to create a musical landscape through which the score could expand and contract; kind of like a kaleidoscope. This afforded me the opportunity to explore varied stylistic sound worlds, from hybrid orchestral to industrial rock to contemporary electronic. At a critical moment in the season, I composed a large-scale choral piece using two of the main musical themes: the heroic ‘Union’ theme and what I call the ‘quest germ,’ which is a cyclical sequence of notes that emerges as our adventure unfolds (Track 28: Jupiter’s Legacy). For the chorale, I decided to source the lyrics from the original comic series by Mark Millar and translated the text into Latin. In order to make this pinnacle moment feel purposeful and impactful, I chose to unwind the choral idea by recording small modules of detuned, experimental vocals with the masterfully innovative singer, Ari Mason. My objective was to have these fragmented vocal elements serve as a kind of musical breadcrumb trail, slowly and abstractly weaving itself into the fibers of the score, culminating in a grand declaration of our main Union theme with full choir at the climax.”

JUPITER’S LEGACY (MUSIC FROM THE NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES)
TRACKLISTING –

  1. Union of Justice
  2. The Utopian
  3. Chloe
  4. The Patterns
  5. Disembarking
  6. Traversing the Crevasse
  7. “Where to, Ulysses?”
  8. The Island
  9. Raikou
  10. The Overdose
  11. Grace Finds the Sketches
  12. Paragon and Iron Orchid
  13. Service, Compassion, Mercy
  14. Tree Symbols
  15. Through the Storm
  16. Morocco
  17. George’s Isolation
  18. The Hilltop Battle
  19. Everything Ends Up in a Box
  20. Miller’s Farm
  21. Crossing the Desert
  22. Being a Sampson
  23. Hutch
  24. Van Chase
  25. A New Leader
  26. Skyfox and Blackstar
  27. Illumination
  28. Jupiter’s Legacy

The album for Jupiter’s Legacy is available for preorder now, and will be available on May 7, 2021.

See also:

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 

Soundtrack Review: Stowaway (2021)

With Netflix recently releasing the soundtrack for their new film Stowaway, I had the opportunity to sit down and listen to the film’s official soundtrack. The music was composed by Volker Bertelmann (The Old Guard, Lion) and recently made available digitally.

The film’s synopsis is as follows:

In Stowaway, on a mission headed to Mars, an unintended stowaway accidentally causes severe damage to the spaceship’s life support systems. Facing dwindling resources and a potentially fatal outcome, the crew is forced to make an impossible decision.

Says Bertelmann of the Stowaway soundtrack:

“Working on Stowaway and collaborating with director Joe Penna was a special experience in many respects: Joe, who is a musician himself, gave me a lot of freedom to explore different sounds and we had a joint understanding of the purposes the music should serve. This facilitated the compositional process, which was extremely helpful given the considerable amount of music the film needed. The music for Stowaway is one of my favorite scores so far.”

Given what’s at stake in Stowaway, I was surprised at how low-key and passive a lot of the music is. There’s an underlying sense of tension of course, most notably in ‘How Much Oxygen’ but for the most part Bertelmann’s soundtrack is almost perfectly serene. The biggest exception to this comes in ‘Solar Flare’ which covers what is undoubtedly one of the climax points of the film. But even then, there’s still a polished smoothness lingering in the music that takes some of the edge off what might otherwise be a raw piece of action music.

All of this smoothness and serenity in the music confused me until I considered where the film is set. Stowaway is set entirely in space, aboard a ship bound for Mars, and it could be that Bertelmann had it in his mind to back up the interstellar background of the film with music that fit the location. After all, there’s something about space that can generate a lot of musical grace and beauty, and this film is surely no exception. It could also be that the composer wanted to remind viewers that in the grand scheme of things this conflict is barely a blip in the cosmos (or I could be overthinking it entirely). Most likely of all the options is the possibility that Bertelmann wanted the score to backup the story, but not overwhelm it with sheer depth of volume, as some film scores have been known to do.

I really enjoyed listening to the soundtrack for Stowaway. It really subverted my expectations for what I thought this movie would sound like but in the end it was really enjoyable. In some places it actually reminded me a little bit of 2001: A Space Odyssey with some of the more quiet tracks. If you get the chance to listen to the Stowaway soundtrack separate from the movie, I highly recommend doing so.

Track List

  1. Earth Rise
  2. Regaining Consciousness
  3. Favorite Spot on the Ship
  4. How Much Oxygen
  5. Setting Up the Algae
  6. It’s Literally My Job
  7. Can I Take His Place?
  8. I Was in the Fire
  9. Can You Talk?
  10. What Did You Do?
  11. The Algae Are Dead
  12. Climbing the Tethers
  13. On the Kingfisher
  14. More Than Enough Oxygen
  15. Solar Flare
  16. I Will Go
  17. Climbing the Tethers Alone
  18. Into the Solar Storm

Let me know what you think of Stowaway’s soundtrack (and the film) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 

Soundtrack News: ‘Puella Magi Madoka Magica’ Soundtrack Albums Available Now

Milan Records celebrates the tenth anniversary of the critically-acclaimed anime franchise Puella Magi Madoka Magica with the first-ever digital release of music featured in the series, movie and the mobile game “Magia Record.” Included within the release are three albums of music from the Aniplex title, including two albums featuring music from the series and movie as well as one album from Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story, a mobile game based on the anime with its own original storyline. The release arrives as part of title’s 10th anniversary project, celebrating the original 2011 airdate of the fan-favorite show.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Ultimate Best and Puella Magi Madoka Magica Music Collection include a mix of score music composed by Yuki Kajiura, original vocal tracks sung by the series cast as well as additional tracks by J-pop artists ClariS and Kalafina. Meanwhile the Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Music Collection includes score music written for the mobile game side story by various artists as well as a vocal track by J-pop artist TrySail.

ABOUT PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA

She has a loving family and best friends, laughs and cries from time to time… Madoka Kaname, an eighth grader of Mitakihara Middle School, is one of those living such a life. One day, she had a very magical encounter. She doesn’t know if it happened by chance or by fate yet. This is a fateful encounter that can change her destiny – this is a beginning of the new story of the magical witch girls.

PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA ULTIMATE BEST TRACKLISTING –

1.Connect –ClariS

2.Mata Ashita –Madoka Kaname*

3.Credens Justitiam –Yuki Kajiura

4.Sis Puella Magica! –Yuki Kajiura

5.And I’m Home (Original Master Version) –Sayaka Miki** & Kyoko Sakura***

6.Magia –Kalafina

7.Luminous–ClariS

8.She is a Witch–Yuki Kajiura

9.Hikarifuru–Kalafina

10.Naturally–Madoka Kaname* & Sayaka Miki**

11.Akogaresaita–Madoka Kaname*

12.Mebius Ash–Homura Akemi****

13.Yumeoto –Madoka Kaname* & Homura Akemi****

14.Stairs–Mami Tomoe***** &Kyoko Sakura***

15.mada dameyo–Yuki Kajiura

16.Noi!–Yuki Kajiura

17.Colorful–ClariS

18.Kimino Ginno Niwa–Kalafina

PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA MUSIC COLLECTION TRACKLISTING –

1.Prelude to Act 1–Yuki Kajiura

2.Scaena Felix–Yuki Kajiura

3.Postmeridie–Yuki Kajiura

4.Conturbatio–Yuki Kajiura

5.Puella In Somnio–Yuki Kajiura

6.Salve, Terrae Magicae–Yuki Kajiura

7.Desiderium–Yuki Kajiura

8.Gradus Prohibitus–Yuki Kajiura

9.Credens Justitiam–Yuki Kajiura

10.Sis Puella Magica!–Yuki Kajiura

11.Inevitabilis–Yuki Kajiura

12.Pugna Cum Maga–Yuki Kajiura

13.Vocalise Op. 34 No. 14–Yuki Kajiura

14.Umbra Nigra–Yuki Kajiura

15.Venari Strigas–Yuki Kajiura

16.Agmen Clientum–Yuki Kajiura

17.Signum Malum–Yuki Kajiura

18.Serena Ira–Yuki Kajiura

19.Incertus–Yuki Kajiura

20.Ave Maria–Yuki Kajiura

21.Decretum–Yuki Kajiura

22.Anima Mala–Yuki Kajiura

23.Mata Ashita–Madoka Kaname*

24.And I’m Home (Original Master Version)–Sayaka Miki** & Kyoko Sakura***

25.Connect (Game Instrumental Version)–ClariS

26.Prelude to Act 2–Yuki Kajiura

27.Amicae Carae Meae–Yuki Kajiura

28.Clementia–Yuki Kajiura

29.La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin–Yuki Kajiura

30.Pugna Infinita–Yuki Kajiura

31.Confessio–Yuki Kajiura

32.Cor Destructum–Yuki Kajiura

33.Terror Adhaerens–Yuki Kajiura

34.Symposium Magarum–Yuki Kajiura

35.Numquam Vincar–Yuki Kajiura

36.Quamobrem?–Yuki Kajiura

37.Surgam Identidem–Yuki Kajiura

38.Nux Walpurgis–Yuki Kajiura

39.Sagitta Luminis–Yuki Kajiura

40.Cubilulum Album–Yuki Kajiura

41.Taenia Memoriae–Yuki Kajiura

42.Pergo Pugnare–Yuki Kajiura

43.Connect–ClariS

44.Magia–Kalafina

45.Numquam Vincar (Live Version)–Yuki Kajiura

MAGIA RECORD: PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA SIDE STORY MUSIC COLLECTION TRACKLISTING –

1.Inception –Ryo Furukawa

2.Infinite Battle –Ryo Furukawa

3.First Contact –Yasuhisa Inoue

4.Awaken –Kyohei Ozawa

5.Place to Hunt –Yasuhisa Inoue

6.Intermediate–Naoki “naotyu-” Chiba

7.Welcome to Mirrors–Naoki “naotyu-” Chiba

8.Repeat Days –Yasuhisa Inoue

9.Memories –Yasuhisa Inoue

10.Twilight –Yasuhisa Inoue

11.To Remember –Kyohei Ozawa

12.Remain –Kyohei Ozawa

13.Coordinator –Yasuhisa Inoue

14.Lost Tension –Kyohei Ozawa

15.Anxiety –Yasuhisa Inoue

16.Touch One’s Heart –Kyohei Ozawa

17.Be Terrified –Ryo Furukawa

18.Creation –Yasuhisa Inoue

19.Wings of Magius –Yasuhisa Inoue

20.Full Moon –Yasuhisa Inoue

21.The Imaginator –Yasuhisa Inoue

22.Uwasa-san –Yasuhisa Inoue

23.The Lecture –Yasuhisa Inoue

24.Into the Territory –Kyohei Ozawa

25.Hotel Fenthope –Kyohei Ozawa

26.Thought of You –Kyohei Ozawa

27.Battle Fields –Ryo Furukawa

28.Initiation Battle –Yasuhisa Inoue

29.The Crow –Tatsuhiko Saiki

30.Magical Artist –Kyohei Ozawa

31.Calculated Future –Yasuhisa Inoue

32.Last Dungeon –Ryo Furukawa

33.Reunion –Ryo Furukawa

34.The Other Side –Yasuhisa Inoue

35.Battle Bell–Naoki “naotyu-” Chiba

36.Depth in the Mirror–Naoki “naotyu-” Chiba

37.One Day She Meets–Naoki “naotyu-” Chiba

38.Sunshine of the Mind –Kyohei Ozawa

39.Day of Rest –Yasuhisa Inoue

40.Plot –Ryo Furukawa

41.Farewell –Tatsuhiko Saiki

42.Complex Home –Kyohei Ozawa

43.Painful Memories–Naoki “naotyu-” Chiba

44.Inerasable –Kyohei Ozawa

45.This Morning –Tatsuhiko Saiki

46.There is –Kyohei Ozawa

47.Little Trick –Kyohei Ozawa

48.Hot Summer Day –Kyohei Ozawa

49.Kakawari –TrySail

See also:

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 

Soundtrack News: Netflix’s ‘Stowaway’ OST Available Now!

On April 23, Lakeshore Records released the soundtrack for Netflix’s sci-fi thriller Stowaway by Academy Award-nominated composer Volker Bertelmann (The Old Guard, Lion, Your Honor). The acclaimed pianist, composer, and experimental musician utilizes piano, strings and orchestra to explore a wide range of sounds that provide a rich backdrop to the mission to Mars thriller. Volker Bertelmann is an internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and experimental musician. His score for Garth Davis’s Oscar-nominated film Lion, composed in collaboration with Dustin O’Halloran, was awarded an Australian AACTA Award and received nominations for multiple awards, among others for an Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critics’ Choice Award.

The music of Stowaway has a lot of gravity, dark tension, and elevating moments, which Bertlemann created by utlizing earthy synthesizers, a prepared Steinway piano (with only one string tuned), and elements of sound design.

Says Bertelmann of the Stowaway soundtrack:

“Working on Stowaway and collaborating with director Joe Penna was a special experience in many respects: Joe, who is a musician himself, gave me a lot of freedom to explore different sounds and we had a joint understanding of the purposes the music should serve. This facilitated the compositional process, which was extremely helpful given the considerable amount of music the film needed. The music for Stowaway is one of my favorite scores so far.”

Track List

  1. Earth Rise
  2. Regaining Consciousness
  3. Favorite Spot on the Ship
  4. How Much Oxygen
  5. Setting Up the Algae
  6. It’s Literally My Job
  7. Can I Take His Place?
  8. I Was in the Fire
  9. Can You Talk?
  10. What Did You Do?
  11. The Algae Are Dead
  12. Climbing the Tethers
  13. On the Kingfisher
  14. More Than Enough Oxygen
  15. Solar Flare
  16. I Will Go
  17. Climbing the Tethers Alone
  18. Into the Solar Storm

You can purchase the Stowaway soundtrack here and it is available now!

See also:

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 

Soundtrack News: ‘Shadow and Bone’ Netflix Original Series Soundtrack Available Now

Netflix has released the Original Series Soundtrack for Shadow and Bone—based on Leigh Bardugo’s worldwide bestselling Grishaverse novels. The mystical and epic original score comes from composer Joseph Trapanese (Tron: LegacyThe Greatest Showman), who took great influence from fairytales, Russian stories, magic, and fantasy. The soundtrack is available digitally todayApril 23, alongside the highly anticipated series launch on Netflix. Joseph Trapanese is best known for his sleek score work for blockbuster films like Tron: Legacy, Straight Outta Compton, The Greatest Showman, Oblivion and the Raid series. As a composer, arranger, and producer for movie, television, theater, and video game music, he has collaborated with a number of mainstream musical acts. His first major break came in 2010 when he worked with Daft Punk on the sweeping digital soundtrack to Disney’s Tron reboot/sequel.

Based on Leigh Bardugo’s worldwide bestselling Grishaverse novels, Shadow and Bone finds us in a war-torn world where lowly soldier and orphan Alina Starkov has just unleashed an extraordinary power that could be the key to setting her country free. With the monstrous threat of the Shadow Fold looming, Alina is torn from everything she knows to train as part of an elite army of magical soldiers known as Grisha. But as she struggles to hone her power, she finds that allies and enemies can be one and the same and that nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. There are dangerous forces at play, including a crew of charismatic criminals, and it will take more than magic to survive.

Joseph was brought onto the project early on by Eric Heisserer (Showrunner, Executive Producer, Writer), Shawn Levy (Executive Producer), and Leigh Bardugo (Author, Executive Producer). He read the novels and scripts for inspiration and by the time the series entered post-production, he had written 40-50 minutes of music to contribute to the score. Joseph developed distinct themes for each character, giving each one their own sonic world in the valiant mystery tale of Shadow and Bone

“Joseph had a monumental challenge ahead of him when he joined the team,” says Eric Heisserer. “Not only did he need to create a thematic space for each of our six lead characters in this debut season, but he also had to build a different musical language for the major regions of this invented world, most notably the kingdom of Ravka, loosely drawn from 1800s Czarist Russia. And what the rest of us soon learned was: Joseph could build all of that and more. The flourishes and flavors he gave to each piece linger with you long after the episode leaves the screen, and while he’s embraced all that inspired the settings of the show, everything feels bespoke. I cannot separate the show from his score, and I’m in awe of him for it,” concludes Heisser.

Leigh Bardugo adds, “Joseph and I met up for coffee early on, and I knew pretty quickly that we were on the same page. We played Prokofiev favorites for each other and I inflicted some very pitchy renditions of old folk songs on him. I knew his work and how deftly he could transport a listener to a new world, but I had no idea what it would be like to hear him work his magic on Ravka and the Grishaverse. There’s certain music that sparks imagination. Joseph’s extraordinary work on Shadow and Bone not only helped to bring this world fully alive, but also changed the way I experience my characters’ stories. I can’t wait for audiences to share in that experience.”

Regarding the soundtrack for Shadow and Bone, Joseph Trapanese had the following to say:

 “Nothing is more thrilling as a composer than to build a musical world to compliment an extraordinary and grand adventure like Shadow and Bone. Eric Heisserer, Shawn Levy, and Leigh Bardugo were incredibly generous with their time and guidance, inviting me to be a part of the series as soon as possible, so I could really get to know these characters and their stories as I wrote their themes. As the team was finishing on set, I was putting the final touches on extended suites and ideas for each character. It was incredibly rewarding to explore and expand these themes throughout the season, and I hope we get to continue exploring each corner of this world for many more episodes. I couldn’t be more excited or proud to share this score with you, and I’m grateful to the entire team at 21 Laps and Netflix for supporting our work through all the challenges of this past year.”

TRACK LIST

  1. Ravka
  2. Ask the Saints
  3. Court Demonstration
  4. True North
  5. Royal Archives Heist
  6. Face the Truth
  7. Erase the Past
  8. Memories
  9. Hope for the Future
  10. Her Name is Alina Starkov
  11. Heretic
  12. Just Ask
  13. Shipwrecked
  14. A Message
  15. Helpful Goat
  16. Fight for the Light
  17. Five Markers
  18. Strike Now
  19. Follow

You can purchase the soundtrack to Shadow and Bone digitally now and also check out the series on Netflix!

See also:

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 

Soundtrack Review: The Vigil (2021)

Back in February of 2021, Lakeshore Records digitally released The Vigil Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – with music by Michael Yezerski (The Tax Collector, Blindspotting). Earlier career highlights for Michael Yezerski include HBO’s Only the Dead See the End of War, his first feature film The Black Balloon (winner of 8 AFI/AACTA Awards including Best Picture), PJ Hogan’s Mental, Wolf Creek Series 2, Catching Milat, Peter Allen, the Academy Award winning animated short, The Lost Thing and his collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Red Tree.

Steeped in ancient Jewish lore and demonology, The Vigil is a supernatural horror film set over the course of a single evening in Brooklyn’s Hasidic Borough Park neighborhood. Low on funds and having recently left his insular religious community, Yakov reluctantly accepts an offer from his former rabbi and confidante to take on the responsibility of an overnight “shomer,” fulfilling the Jewish practice of watching over the body of a deceased community member. Shortly after arriving at the recently departed’s dilapidated house to sit the vigil, Yakov begins to realize that something is very, very wrong.

Speaking about the philosophy behind the score, Yezerski said:

“As [director] Keith Thomas and I discussed, music is memory. We associate music with the best and the worst times in our lives. For The Vigil we needed to create a score that explored the malevolence of memory (both personal and cultural).” Yezerski went on further to note, “We needed massive textures that could read as both beautiful and brutal. The music attacks but also meditates on long and difficult lives. After all, what is the greater horror at play here – the supernatural or our lived reality?”

Going in, I thought I knew how The Vigil would sound, but to my surprise I was quite wrong. It’s true that like many horror film scores I’ve listened to in recent years, there’s an ongoing feeling of malevolence that pervades the entire score. But it’s how this feeling is delivered that sets The Vigil apart in my mind from recent scores in similar genres.

For example, the score’s use of the human voice (especially chanting) really emphasizes to me the story’s religious background (as it is based in Jewish folklore). That’s not something you hear in a lot of horror film scores so already the story is set apart in my mind. I also really like it because it evokes the feeling that you are around something ancient, as chanting is one of the earliest song forms in existence.

I also really like how the composer creates aural “textures” that literally make your skin crawl when you listen to them. “Lair” is an excellent example of that technique, but it really pervades most of the score if I’m honest. This is fitting as horror films, to the best of my understanding, are designed to make the viewer uncomfortable. It’s only natural that this should extend to the film’s score as well.

One final note, I also like how the music for The Vigil is full of various creaks and groans created by the instruments. It creates a similar sense of age that the chanting does, but it also gives you a sense that you’re in a space that is falling apart or in disrepair (as I understand it the film is set in a dilapidated house). This is most definitely a unique score, one that’s small but contains some powerful musical thoughts. This is yet another example of why you should never dismiss a soundtrack out of hand because it belongs to a horror film.

The Vigil Soundtrack Track List

  1. Tefillin (4:23)
  2. The Ghost, Pt. 1 (1:58)
  3. The Ghost, Pt. 2 (2:52)
  4. Past (3:15)
  5. Lair (4:25)
  6. Broken by Memories (5:08)
  7. Video Games (4:12)
  8. Behind You (3:32)
  9. Face to Face (4:12)
  10. Begin the Vigil (3:31)
  11. Ner (3:41)
  12. Echo (4:26)
  13. Sunlight (2:24)

Let me know what you think of The Vigil and its soundtrack in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 

Soundtrack Review: Mortal Kombat (2021)

WaterTower Music has released the soundtrack to New Line Cinema’s explosive new movie Mortal Kombat, which brings to life the intense action of the blockbuster video game franchise in all its brutal glory, pitting the all-time, fan-favorite champions against one another in the ultimate, no-holds-barred, gory battle that pushes them to their very limits. The Mortal Kombat (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) contains all new score by Golden Globe-, Emmy-, and Grammy-nominated composer Benjamin Wallfisch (IT and IT Chapter 2, Shazam, Blade Runner: 2049 [w/ Hans Zimmer]). It features 24 tracks by Wallfisch, who interpreted the film’s themes and emphasized the story’s hard-driving, visceral action through his music.

Director Simon McQuoid discussed working with Wallfisch on the score:

“Ben and I both knew that we needed to use the classic Immortals track ‘Techno Syndrome’ as source material for the entire score of Mortal Kombat. But along with that we knew that an updated elevated version of the song also needed to be created. And Ben certainly delivered! I am so excited by this new 2021 version of the track, when I first heard it, it blew my mind. Actually, Ben kind of blew my mind on a daily basis through the making of this film, so we can all thank Benjamin Wallfisch for his genius and passion in creating ‘Techno Syndrome 2021’.

Wallfisch further elaborated:

“When I was invited to come on board ‘Mortal Kombat,’ I was very aware of the responsibility that comes with scoring a franchise so deeply embedded in pop culture and with such a passionate fanbase. My first question was what can we do with ‘Techno Syndrome,’ a piece of music so much part of the DNA of the game and the original movies? What motifs could be reinvented and blown up to a full-scale symphonic sound world in the score, and might there be room for a full reinvention of the whole song as an EDM single in 2021? A huge thank you to The Immortals for giving us their blessing to reimagine their classic track in this way, as a celebration of the world of Mortal Kombat and its fans, and of the uplifting power of Electronic Dance Music, which the original did so much to light the fuse of 30 years ago.”

I have rarely experienced such a turnaround as what I’ve felt regarding Mortal Kombat. Having minimal contact with the video game series (and the one time I made an effort to play not going particularly well), I was initially on the fence and unable to emotionally invest in the idea of the film at all. But then THAT trailer came out, and I was intrigued. Then came the chance to listen to the soundtrack ahead of its release on April 23…

And I think my brain exploded.

I may have the bad habit of using superlatives too often in my reviews, but please believe me when I say Benjamin Wallfisch’s score for Mortal Kombat is one of the best I’ve ever heard. This isn’t just a soundtrack for an action film, this is an entire world realized through sound and melody and I am here for every last minute of it. During the music for the fight scenes (it’s not hard to tell which ones those are) you can feel every punch and every attack with brutal clarity. For the music alone, I am now itching to see these fight scenes in their proper context, because I need to know how this music connects to the action. And it’s such beautiful music, it has what I like to call “height” which is to say it expands and creates the illusion of space as it goes along. You can literally hear the music grow and soar in certain places, which helps to create the idea of a world existing within the music.

However as I said there’s far more to this soundtrack then just action. Wallfisch also demonstrates a keen ability to take the music in the opposite direction, to slow it down and allow the audience to take a collective breath. That’s an important thing for any film: if the soundtrack is just GO GO GO constantly, it can eventually begin to grate on the ear and become quite tiresome. But the music for Mortal Kombat isn’t like that at all (much to my surprise). There’s plenty of action to go around, but also more than enough moments of calm and relative quiet, though it is more often than not the “calm before the storm” type of quiet. There’s an impressive amount of balancing going on between the two extremes of loud and quiet, and I love it all.

Another detail I like about this soundtrack? The track list doesn’t give too much away regarding plot details. In fact, if I’m reading the track list correctly, most of these tracks appear to be themes for specific characters, which is great because I love thematic-based soundtracks (when done properly). Even so, very little is given away in terms of plot, and that’s great. I’ve seen too many soundtracks where you can suss out the plot of a film from the track list names alone, but you can’t do that here.

I could go on and on about the music for Mortal Kombat, but I’ll wrap it up by saying that listening to this soundtrack has rocketed this film to the top of my must see list for 2021 (and six months ago I couldn’t imagine saying that). If you get the chance, you need to check out this soundtrack independently of the film itself, it is that good.

TRACK LIST

  1. Techno Syndrome 2021 (Mortal Kombat)
  2. Hanzo Hasashi
  3. Lord Raiden
  4. Bi-Han
  5. Shang Tsung
  6. Cole Young
  7. Birthmark
  8. Sonya Blade
  9. Kano v Reptile
  10. Liu Kang
  11. The Great Protector
  12. Sub-Zero
  13. Kung Lao
  14. Origins
  15. Kabal
  16. Goro
  17. Arcana
  18. Jax Briggs
  19. The Void
  20. The Tournament
  21. Sub-Zero v Cole Young
  22. I Am Scorpion
  23. We Fight as One
  24. Get Over Here

Let me know what you think about Mortal Kombat (and its soundtrack) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 

Soundtrack News: ‘Demon’s Souls’ Music from the Video Game Coming to Vinyl 6/18

Milan Records has announced the first-ever vinyl release of Demon’s Souls (Original Soundtrack), an album of music from the PlayStation®5 console remake of the classic game title, by composer Shunsuke Kida.

Available on CD now, Kida’s score delivers a bold and brilliant soundtrack befitting of the game’s lore.  Out Friday, June 18 and available for preorder now, the album’s vinyl edition arrives as a 2-LP deluxe gatefold set featuring artwork by renowned illustrator, designer and artist Ken Taylor – an inside look at the vinyl edition can be found here.  Demon’s Souls is currently available for the PlayStation®5 console from Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), PlayStation Studios, and Bluepoint Games. 

The vinyl will also be available in various vinyl color variants exclusive to Mondo, Light In The Attic Records, Newbury Comic, Channel 3 Records and Black Screen Records; detailed information surrounding each color variant can be found via individual retailers. 

In his quest for power, the 12th King of Boletaria, King Allant channeled the ancient Soul Arts, awakening a demon from the dawn of time itself, The Old One. With the summoning of The Old One, a colorless fog swept across the land, unleashing nightmarish creatures that hungered for human souls. Those whose souls were stripped from them, lost their minds – left only with the desire to attack the sane that remained. Now, Boletaria is cut off from the outside world, and the knights who dare penetrate the deep fog to free the land from its plight are never seen again. As a lone warrior who has braved the baneful fog, you must face the hardest of challenges to earn the title “Slayer of Demons” and send The Old One back to its slumber.

DEMON’S SOULS (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK)
TRACKLISTING –

DISC 1 – SIDE A:

  1. Demon’s Souls
  2. The Beginning
  3. Maiden Astraea
  4. Storm King
  5. Flamelurker
  6. Tales of Old

DISC 1 – SIDE B:

  1. Penetrator
  2. Maneater
  3. Maiden in Black
  4. Fool’s Idol
  5. Leechmonger
  6. Tower Knight

DISC 2 – SIDE C:

  1. Old Monk
  2. Phalanx
  3. Armor Spider
  4. Dirty Colossus
  5. Dragon God
    DISC 2 – SIDE D:
  6. Old King Allant
  7. The Old One
  8. One Who Craves Souls
  9. Return to Slumber

DISC 2 – SIDE D:

  1. Old King Allant
  2. The Old One
  3. One Who Craves Souls
  4. Return to Slumber

The Demon’s Souls soundtrack will be available on vinyl starting June 18, 2021.

See also:

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 

Soundtrack News: ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Soundtrack Vol. 1 Available Now!

On April 9th, Marvel Music/Hollywood Records released The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Volume 1 (Episodes 1-3) with music composed by Henry Jackman on digital. Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and The Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier. The pair, who came together in the final moments of “Avengers: Endgame,” team up on a global adventure that tests their abilities—and their patience. Directed by Kari Skogland with Malcolm Spellman serving as head writer, the six-episode series also stars Daniel Brühl as Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, and Wyatt Russell as John Walker.

Though broken up into separate episodes, Jackman’s score for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is quintessential MCU film music (and I’ll call it that despite the streaming format). It has that perfect blend of suspense and action that I’ve come to love in these movies. This music, as with most scores in the MCU, is good at getting you to hold your breath and lean in to hold more, only to knock you back with a sudden burst of sound. The synthetic elements in the music are something of a surprise, but given that this series is set in (pretty much) the present day (time skip notwithstanding), it makes sense that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier would need as modern-sounding a soundtrack as possible. This show is meant to be something of a thriller after all, and the music definitely creates that idea.

If this is how good the music is for just the first three episodes, I can’t wait to hear Volume 2, which is due to be released on April 30th.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Volume 1 Track List

  1. Louisiana Hero (2:14)
  2. Tough Act to Follow (1:16)
  3. Airborne Operation (5:56)
  4. Smithsonian Tribute (0:53)
  5. Nightmares (1:22)
  6. What Do You Want? (1:22)
  7. Pluck Up the Nerve (1:53)
  8. New Agitators (1:13)
  9. The Wrong Guy (1:38)
  10. America’s Sweetheart (1:05)
  11. No Parachute (1:29)
  12. Stakeout (1:39)
  13. Outmatched (2:46)
  14. Safe House (2:41)
  15. Someone You Should Meet (1:09)
  16. Overlooked For Promotion (1:20)
  17. Warranted Attention (1:03)
  18. Fraying Edges (2:04)
  19. Take One For the Team (2:21)
  20. Unnecessary Use of Force (1:48)
  21. Prison Break (4:41)
  22. A Marriage of Convenience (0:32)
  23. A Pure Heart (1:48)
  24. Low Town (1:24)
  25. Attack, Soldier! (1:47)
  26. Breaking Character (2:29)
  27. Bad Science (3:30)
  28. Masked Man (1:20)
  29. Dissent and Disillusionment (1:08)
  30. Radicalized (1:19)
  31. Star Spangled Man – The Captain America Drum Corps (1:44)

Be sure to check out The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Volume 1 as soon as you can!

Have a great day!

See also:

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 

Soundtrack Review: Pacific Rim: The Black (2021)

On March 5, Milan Records and Sony Music Masterworks released Pacific Rim: The Black (Music from the Netflix Original Anime Series) by composer Brandon Campbell.  Available everywhere now, the album features score music written by Campbell for Netflix’s newest anime series from Legendary Television and based on Legendary and Guillermo del Toro’s blockbuster film franchise Pacific Rim.  Continuing the tale of epic battles between monsters and robots in an exciting new style, Pacific Rim: The Black made its global debut yesterday and is available now to watch exclusively on Netflix.   

Of the soundtrack, composer Brandon Campbell had the following to say:

“Our showrunner, Greg Johnson, wanted a score that encompassed bits of DNA from the original Pacific Rim film while still being unique enough to support the struggles and triumphs of Taylor and Hailey. We created a hybrid orchestral score with the heavy themes and melodic material that will hopefully resonate with Pacific Rim fans, while including more intimate and emotional musical moments that accompany our characters as they make their way across The Black. I hope my music brings you back into the world of the awesome power of the Kaiju and Jaeger, but also into the hearts of Taylor and Hailey.”

I meant to check out this soundtrack a solid month ago and I regret that life got in the way to delay me because the music for Pacific Rim: The Black is good, really good. While I haven’t heard the soundtracks for either Pacific Rim movie (a terrible shortcoming I know), there are moments sprinkled throughout this soundtrack that sound so “big” they can only come from and/or be inspired by the original movie soundtracks. This is great, as thematic continuity between films and a television series is a proven way to help audiences get invested in the new story. Put it like this: if the story sounds like it comes from the same universe, then it becomes easier to accept the story as belonging to that universe, even if none of the regular movie characters show up.

What’s really interesting to me aside from that is the musical connection to other kaiju movies that I swear I can hear. For example, in ‘Kaiju Messiah’, there’s a musical sequence that sounds eerily similar to music I’ve heard in Godzilla (2014), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and Godzilla vs Kong (2021) whenever Godzilla is in action. I don’t know if this is deliberate or not, but it would make sense since the story of Pacific Rim is about fighting kaiju (which is what Godzilla is, albeit in a different story).

Another thing I really like about the music for Pacific Rim: The Black is how descriptive it is. Which is to say it paints an evocative picture of how desolate this setting is, and how dangerous. There’s nothing generic about this music, you know that it belongs to science-fiction just by listening to it. It would’ve been so easy for Netflix to commission music that was bare-bones acceptable, but they didn’t do that, they got music that carries its share of the story, and that is so important. You need the music to drive the final nail home of where this story is taking place, what is this world like? The wrong music, as I’ve said many times before, can break a decent story, and by all accounts this is the best music possible for Pacific Rim: The Black.

PACIFIC RIM: THE BLACK (MUSIC FROM THE NETFLIX ORIGINAL ANIME SERIES)
TRACKLISTING

  1. The Black
  2. They Always Come Back
  3. Jaeger Breaker
  4. The Drift
  5. b0y
  6. Shane
  7. Boneyard
  8. I’ve Had Worse Benders
  9. Mind Heist
  10. Dismei
  11. Ghost Pilot
  12. Shadow Basin
  13. Bogan Boogie
  14. Memories
  15. Never Coming Back
  16. The Most Powerful Man in The Black
  17. Hunter Vertigo
  18. Just Calm Down
  19. Kajiu Messiah
  20. Copperhead
  21. Atlas Destroyer

It’s a shame I didn’t get to this soundtrack a month ago, but better late than never right? I really enjoyed checking out the music for Pacific Rim: The Black, and you should check it out right away if you get the chance, as it is currently available.

Let me know your thoughts on Pacific Rim: The Black (and its soundtrack) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

TV Soundtracks

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook