Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Friday, October 31, 2008


Dead Space
Music by Jason Graves
Composer Promo JG011 (US)
15 Tracks 60:59 mins

EA's new sci-fi survival horror game, Dead Space, features music by Jason Graves who, in association with Rod Abernethy, has produced many a fine game score in recent years. Available for download at, more than 3 hours of music was recorded over two sessions, the first with the Northwest Sinfonia in Seattle, the second with the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra.
The composer's publicists, Top Dollar PR, kindly sent me a promotional CD of the score, which is a mix of eerie, suspenseful passages and furious dissonant action. The opening "Welcome Aboard The U.S.G. Ishimura" alternates between Alien-like mystery and frenzied action, whilst "The Necromorphs Attack" generates some genuine excitement in its furious, percussive action writing, as does "The Leviathan;" with "I Left My Heart in Med Lab 3" ending in a furious blast of cacophony. An almost Goldsmith-like ostinato opens "Severed Limbs Are Hazardous Waste," whilst "I've Got You Devolving Under My Skin" opens spine tinglingly, before ending really menacing. After a subdued start, more exciting action follows in "Plasma Cutters Are Your Friend," with "Manual Survival Mode Seven" opening with more cacophony and later developing that same Goldsmithian feel again. "The Cost of Living is on the Rise" alternates eerieness with powerful action; with "Do Not Vomit - Do Not Shout" building to yet more exciting action writing, with rasping brass to end. "The Hive Mind" opens quite monstrously, before developing into powerful, menacing action, which continues pretty much in "Fly Me To The Aegis Seven Moon," before turning cold and otherwordly. "Cyanide Systems Offline" builds to a furious crescendo, before proceeding menacingly; continuing in "Habeas Corpses." The final cue, "Must...Go...Faster" begins as if ending the score on a light note, signifying a satisfactory conclusion to all the trials that have gone before, but quickly turns dark and brooding, concluding quite ominously.
In conclusion, if you like melody, don't apply here, but if challenging, pulse-pounding action music floats your boat, you're certainly going to enjoy this one.

Milano Rovente
Music by Carlo Rustichelli
Beat Records CDCR 85 (Italy)
23 Tracks 41:45 mins

A second new recording to come my way in Beat Records' new series of limited edition digipack releases is of Carlo Rustichelli's music for the 1973 crime thriller Milano Rovente, directed by Umberto Lenzi, and starring Antonio Sabato.
One element of the composer's score is the use of the popular Sicilian song "Vitti 'na crozzo supra 'nu cannuni, fui curiusu e 'nci vonsi spiara...," which the director had come across in 1951 as part of Rustichelli's score for Il Cammino Della Speranza. Many years later Milano Rovente presented the opportunity to revisit the song that had so impressed Lenzi.
This digital premiere of the original stereo mastertapes commences with the urban jazz of "From Sicily to Milan," with its saxophone opening, a theme continuing into "Dramatic Discover" after its opening Hammond organ chords, a device used by the composer in other of his scores, including "Call of the Wild," to denote danger. Both the main theme and the organ motif are to appear in fragments and variations throughout subsequent tracks, many of which feature a good deal of tension and suspense, though there are uptempo moments as well, as in "Doggy Fighting," "Running and Hiding" and "Final Struggle."
"Fly 747" is a catchy dance number and is followed by a floaty ballad "What is this Love?" written by Harmonica player extraordinaire Franco De Gemini and Stefano Torossi, with lyrics by Guiseppe Cassia, and performed by Melody. The melancholy, piano, guitar and organ-lead "Remembering a Far Home" follows and also features in subdued mode in "Suite before End, sharing the honours with the main theme in "Still Remembering" and "From Milan To Sicily, with Jews Harp featuring in the latter, bringing the score to a dramatic close.
The aforementioned Sicilian folk song emerges as a male choral in track 10 on the album. Jews Harp again carries the theme from "Remembering a Far Home" to open "Girls and Drug, "before the main theme introduces more action music; the mood continuing in "Flic's Compromise."
The main theme is presented as a straight forward source cue in "Just a Bite," with "Mainly Slow Theme" again featuring the theme is more subdued mode.
The disc concludes with an altenate version of "From Milan To Sicily," somewhat lighter on the Jews Harp than the previous version.
Accompanying the disc is again a colourful foldout poster, featuring notes by Claudio Fuiano and Fabio Babini, with an introduction by the director, who also features on a 15-minute video that can be accessed through your PC. Go to

From Costa Communications:




DIGITAL: iTunes, Amazon Digital on October 21st

IN STORES CD: November 11

Los Angeles, CA – Singer, songwriter and composer Jon Brion (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Magnolia) composed original music for the soundtrack for SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK. Lakeshore Records will release the soundtrack in stores on November 11, available now via iTunes and Amazon Digital.

Jon Brion received a Best Score nomination at the World Soundtrack Awards for the score for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which was co-written by his Synecdoche, New York director Charlie Kaufman and that film’s director Michel Gondry. He recently composed the scores for Step Brothers, The Break-Up and scored and wrote songs for I Heart Huckabees. Additionally, Brion composed scores for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love (2001) and Magnolia (1999, Grammy nomination for Best Score), and Hard Eight (1996).

Highly in demand as a producer and studio musician, Brion has collaborated with such artists as

Kanye West, Dido, Macy Gray, Rufus Wainwright, The Crystal Method, Jude Cole, Susanna

Hoffs, Sam Phillips, and The Eels. In addition to his collaboration with top artists, he is an indie music darling and is renowned for his regular Friday-night gigs at the Los Angeles club Largo, which features covers and original songs, a variety of instruments and the occasional guest.

SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK is the directorial debut of two-time Academy Award®-winning writer Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich). The film boasts an all star cast, including Academy Award®-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, two-time Academy Award®-nominee Samantha Morton, Academy Award®-nominee Michelle Williams, two-time Academy Award®-nominee Catherine Keener, two-time Academy Award®-nominee Emily Watson, two-time Academy Award®-winner Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hope Davis, and Tom Noonan.

Sony Pictures Classics presents SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on October 24, 2008, and theaters nationwide throughout October.


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