Television's spookiest and probably grossest show, 'Hannibal', needs a soundtrack to make you jump and clutch at the nearest pillow in fear. The diverse sounds composer Brian Reitzell is charged with creating for the show jump from chilling IDM, dark ambient, acoustic percussion, avant-jazz and neo-classical tranquillity. Each sound is another twist of the knife. It's not exactly pleasant, but it is compelling.
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 27 November 2014
As well as putting out an excellent debut from CUTS and a rude 12” from the ol’ Sleaford Mods, Invada have also been slipping in some soundtrack releases this year from score guru Brian Reitzell, who’s one of those composers that, despite coming from a DIY band background, has managed to convince the HBO bigwigs that he can in fact make just as good music as the modern classical scholars.
Listening to his soundtrack for the opening season of last year’s Hannibal series on its own has made me realise how apt the music is for a human-munching genius. Dark as the narrow squint in Mads Mikkelsen’s eyes and sombre as the emotional turmoil experienced by most of the characters, Reitzell’s score is like sitting inside the powerful, complex mind of Dr. Lecter with all its cunning, intellect and psychopathy. Despite the requirement of it being super polished for the HBO bods, it largely doesn’t resort to the usual tense thriller-drama series cues of US dramas like Dexter or House of Cards. Instead, it utilises a combination of dissonant modern classical instrumentation, electronic beats and layers from the worlds of techno and ambient, and even some electric guitar/drums. The use of electroacoustic flurries next to tender piano or synth melodies brings to mind Clint Mansell’s score for Black Swan, both scores also borrowing from classical greats - unavoidably Tchaikovsky for Mansell and Bach’s Aria for this one. Bach, of course, for his inseparable association with high society and lofty thinkers. But most absorbing are the many slicey knife sounds layered throughout, making your skin feel rather violated.
This features a host of guest musicians such as Air’s Dave Palmer and Lars Horntveth from the brilliant Jaga Jazzist, explaining away the impeccable performances to bring the appropriate gravity to the series. Not sure what else to add here, as if you’re reading this you’ve either seen the series and are wondering if you should get the record or you are deciding whether to start watching it at all. It’s a yes for both.
YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED ITEMS
- Hannibal Season 1 (Original Television Soundtrack) by Brian Reitzell
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