If I’m honest, 2012 was a bit of a mediocre year for film. I saw too many new releases which became disappointments ,leaving a feeling of being regularly underwhelmed. Thankfully there were a few diamonds in the rough; strangely two of those diamonds had similar themes (but as it broke the cinematic monotony up, I was willing to forgive some similarities).
So what exactly am I gibbering on about? Well I found that the cinematic adventures where most exciting when I had my ears opened to some truly fantastic film scores of the year. Now it’s a rare occasion when I actually devote a complete post to just scores (as few have inspired over the years), but I must admit I find myself playing these particular tracks on repeat during the morning commute.
First up is a score to one of the best low budget action films of recent years. Of course I’m talking about Garth Evan’s pain inducing punch up: The Raid. If ever a score reflects the brutality of each punch, kick and shot to the face, then Mike Shinoda and Joseph Trapanese’s electro-rock audio orgy is the perfect bedfellow to the visual wonderments.
Now my second score choice is similar in tone to Cliff Martinez’s score to Drive. It’s also the only film in this post that I have yet to see, but after listening to the soundtrack and the good word of mouth, my excitement is at fever pitch.
Thanks to the many social networking sites, I’m now (more then ever) gagging to see how Franck Khalfoun has improved on William Lusting’s original Maniac. Just from the 6 minunte opener thats parading around the internet at the moment, its becoming clearer that this is a film to watch for.
The soundtrack itself is infused with a euro sensibility, combining the elements of French techno and (if I’m not mistaken) a cheeky wink to Fabio Frizzi’s original Zombi theme, with more then a hint of early 80s Tangerine Dream. It reminds me very much of Near Dark’s score (with shades of Giorgio Morodor’s Cat People) at times, which makes it a continuously menacing delight.
ROB’s score is an interesting beast that brings back memories of some great cult film scores. And yet it’s the gift that keeps on giving, the more I listen to it, the more it feels me with a sense of melodrama that I remember from 80s synth scores. Or possibly I’m just talking nonsense.
Either way I continue to be impressed by the films synthesized musical cues the more it is played. The film’s wide release really couldn’t come soon enough.
The final soundtrack score I want to look at from last year is almost a spiritual successor to all of John Carpenter’s action film scores, mixed with elements of Mike Patton. This is a score that goes right for the jugular, while at the same time leaving your ears bleeding from its pure unadulterated aggressive presence.
For the Dredd soundtrack (the other tower-block action film next to The Raid) composer Paul Leonard-Morgan orchestrated an audio pummeling It’s a score that continues to reverberate through you long after its ended; to me that’s the sign of a truly great soundtrack or score. The fact it can get your blood pumping to the point of over excitement is a rare achievement and one I will continue to applaud.
Have there been any soundtracks or scores that grabbed your audio attention from last year? Are my picks lacking?
Let me know in the comments below or via my twitter.