Tag Archives: paul leonard-morgan

Soundtrack Review: Dredd

(Original Film Soundtrack)
Composer: Paul Leonard-Morgan
Running Time: 51 min.
Released: 2012
Opinon Stars: ★★★★

If Ramin Djawadi’s Iron Man soundtrack were married to the Daft Punkian techno of Tron: Legacy, their child would probably sound something like Dredd. Which is to say: slick, hard-hitting, and very, very cool. It’s a knockout. I haven’t seen the film yet – it’s rather popular on Netflix and therefore hard to get – but I’ve no doubt the score fits it as snugly as a bullet casing. (Watch the trailer and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.) The fusion of rocking action cues with brooding electronic soundscapes works beautifully here. Final result? The kind of music that makes even dishwashing seem like an epic task.

Standout tracks:
– She’s a Pass
– Mega City One
– The Plan
– Mini-Guns
– Order In the Chaos
– Taking Over Peach Trees
– Apocalyptic Wasteland

“I wanted to create a really gritty, urban score for the film, not a typical Hollywood, glossy score. I pictured a sound which fitted a future set in 100 years time, so traditional orchestra went out the window.” ReelScotland recently conducted an interview with Paul Leonard-Morgan; you can read it here.

In Which We Interrupt Our Usual Programming

This one is for all you soundtrack geeks…

I received an e-mail yesterday asking if I’d be interested in spreading the word about the soon-to-be released OST for Dredd (2012). I listened to some samples, liked most of what I heard, and figured, Why not?

For those unfamiliar with Dredd, it’s a British-made sci-fi film that hits U.S. theaters later this month. The IMDb summary describes it this way: “In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.”

The premise alone is enough to pique my curiosity; and writing the music for such a film would, I imagine, be incredibly interesting. Judging from the samples I listened to (available here), composer Paul Leonard-Morgan chose to go the electronic route. If that’s your thing, you’ll probably enjoy this soundtrack. If not, you may want to move on.

Speaking of his work, Leonard-Morgan says,

From a music point of view, I wanted to create a sound which fitted a future set in 100 years time, so traditional orchestra was out of the question. I started off doing some band-based stuff, but it felt too safe and overly-produced, so I ended up going down a really electronic vibe… I was looking to create a timeless score which couldn’t be placed in any particular era.

For the slo-mo music, I used this incredible new timestretch software called Paul. I composed and recorded new tracks with real instruments, and then slowed them down by thousands of percent to match the vibe of the visuals, adding some realtime score over the top of it. So 1 second of written score could end up lasting 10 minutes. It sounds weird, but it creates some truly beautiful sounds.

The soundtrack is scheduled to release digitally worldwide on September 3rd, and physically on September 10th. If you happen to buy/listen to it before I do, drop me a comment and share your thoughts.