NEW MUSIC: Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Affluenza

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Two of the guys from S U R V I V E, Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, who are best known for the soundtrack work on Stranger Things, have composed the music for Rashid Johnson’s dramatic directorial debut Native Son, which was Sundance’s opening night film.

Based on Richard Wright’s seminal novel of the same name, the modern reimagining of Wright’s 1930’s coming-of-age drama chronicles Bigger Thomas, a young African-American man who takes a job working for a highly influential Chicago family — a decision that changes the course of his life. HBO Films and A24 released the film on April 5th with Milan Records releasing the score on the same day.

‘Affluenza’ is a billowing, gaseous synth bed that envelopes the listener with a tense and foreboding quality.

NEW MUSIC: Tindersticks Soundtrack ‘High Life’

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Tindersticks and Stuart A. Staples are custom built for soundtrack work, such is their ability to conjure such exquisite and restrained mood and atmosphere, both musically and vocally. They’ve worked on a number of film projects in the past and this latest one by Staples is for the movie High Life, directed by Claire Denis – who Staples has worked with on seven of her other films. His soundtrack and sound design compositions on High Life earned him the George Delerue Award for Best Music at the Gent Film Festival.

Below you can watch the video for ‘Willow’, with lead vocal from actor Robert Pattinson, and listen to the instrumental piece ‘The Garden’ which rises and falls with dramatic tension and poise, a brooding cousin to late period Talk Talk experimentations with its droning bed and searching brass.

Most of the music for High Life was made before the filming. The conversation with Claire started maybe as far back as 2012. There were many ideas I wanted to explore and I appreciated the foresight of Claire and the producers in offering me support and encouragement to do this. As well as work with usual collaborators Dan McKinna, Neil Fraser and Earl Harvin, this afforded me purely experimental recording sessions with David Coulter, Thomas Bloch, David Okumu, Julian Siegel, Seb Rochford and the BBC singers. Several long sketches / pieces were created from these sessions that the eventual score was formed from or informed by. 

And then there was ‘Willow’. a seed of a song shared by myself and Dan Mckinna that eventually grew to be the conclusion of the High life with Robert Pattinson, the lead actor, singing the song in character to his daughter Willow, a theme that runs through the film.

~ Stuart A. Staples

 

ALBUM REVIEW: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – Loin Des Hommes

Rating7nick_cave_warren_ellis_loin_des_hommes_ostBad Seeds co-conspirators Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have created a haunting score to the film Loin Des Hommes, a French film adaptation of Albert Camus’ short story The Guest by director David Olehoffen. Experienced in isolation, without the film to provide the creative scenery, the soundtrack works as a tension-filled, primarily instrumental collection of pieces that use piano, violin, droning tones and some electronica to form a feeling of both beauty and dread. The pair have been composing soundtracks for over a decade now and over that time they’ve developed a unique style of dark and drifting moods and experimental otherworldliness that continues here.

Chris Familton

this review was first published in The Music