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

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


The Crash of Flight 191
Music by Kaveh Cohen
KeepMoving Records KMRCD 014 (Russia)
35 Tracks 57:45 mins

If you aren't a regular reader of Randall D. Larson's column for Buysoundtrax you are really missing out. In it, he brings you all the latest news of film, TV and game assignments, soundtrack releases; also providing a generous number of reviews and topping it all off with composer interviews, his latest being with Marvin Hamlisch and Primeval composer Dominik Scherrer. Go to for the latest.
And why, I hear you ask, am I telling you all this when I am supposed to be reviewing The Crash of Flight 191? Well, it's because he also reviews the disc there, as well as another ofKeepMoving's new releases, Emilio de Paz's game score for The Abbey and, through these reviews, I got to hear of this enterprising Russian label, which is already building quite a catalogue of film, TV and game soundtracks, many by Russian composers, but not all, by any means, as this release proves.
Kaveh Cohen is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Michael Nielsen on the Full Tilt trailer music library, but in 2004 he got to work on this documentary about the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 just after takeoff at Chicago's O'Hare airport.
Cohen provided a synths and samples score for the documentary, and regular visitors to the site will know that I am not keen on synths, particularly when they take the lead, instead of brass for instance, but needs must, and music budgets are not normally high on documentaries, so, overlooking its limitations, the score gets underway with the title track, which mixes propulsiveness with piano-lead pathos. The urgent, tense and dramatic "May 25th 1978" follows, ending with a tolling bell and wordless female vocal signifying the human cost.
Of course there is a good deal of poignancy and sadness in subsequent tracks, including "The Site" "Wrongful Death," "Devastated Families," "Families React," "Backup System Lost," "Seven Months After," and "No Closure;" with the female vocal reprised at key moments, and piano to the fore.
By contrast, dramatic fare is provided by the likes of "Pressure Mounts," "24 Hours Later," "The NTSS," "Tombstone Mentality," "Damage is Done," "Desperate Investigation," "Focus Shifts," "Report Surfaces," "Revelation at Tusla," "Searching for Proof," "Maintenance Error," "Ground the DC-10," "Safeguards Not Enough," "Emergency Procedures," "The Plane Stalls," and "Dead at the Wheel;" often ticking along tensely as the investigation into the crash progresses and events are recreated.
The penultimate track, "Improvements" suggests industry, and leads to "Difficult Lesson," which closes the score with a reprise of the propulsive opening music.
Of its kind, this is a very effective little score, providing the right balance of drama and emotion, and doing its best to sound bigger than its obvious limitations.
In addition to allowing me to review their latest releases, KeepMoving have very kindly allowed me very generous access to a very good sampling of their recent back catalogue, and these reviews will be appearing in days to come.
All KeepMoving releases are limited to just 500 copies, but are very reasonably priced, so best hurry along to their website at to order your copy and to browse their catalogue, and listen to samples.


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