Wednesday, 8 January 2014

FX2 by Lalo Schifrin

Lalo Schifrin is probably my favourite musician, and also the first one I became aware of by name when I was a child — it was his addictive, propulsive theme for Mission: Impossible which made me, and millions of others, take note of the composer.

Given my enthusiasm for Schifrin it's a little odd that it's taken me so long (over four years) to get around to writing about him on this music blog. Also perhaps a little odd to chose an obscure work like this soundtrack as the first one to discuss. But it's the latest Schifrin to come my way, and it's a fascinating score.

Since the late 20th century there's been a proliferation of small record labels devoted to releasing forgotten movie soundtracks. Thanks to them lot of wonderful music which seemed lost forever has been rescued. One of the latest of these labels to emerge is Quartet Records in Spain. And one of their most recent issues is Schifrin's FX2

Written for the 1991 sequel about a special effects man who fights crime, at first listening FX2 sounds like a brash, slick pop-style thriller soundtrack which moves swiftly but doesn't have a great deal of depth. But subsequent listenings begin to reveal extraordinary detail and variety.

How many action scores have you heard which combine Philip Glass serial modernism with fat, funky guitars? Or include an homage to Nino Rota's music for the films of Fellini ('Bluey')? 

FX2 is obviously going to repay further listening, and may well turn out to be a milestone among the composer's later movie work.

(Image credits: The CD cover is from the Quartet Records website where you can buy the CD. The movie poster is from Soundtrack Collector, which is a very useful resource for information.)

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