Composed By: Orbital
Distributed by: Silva Screen Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the 2012 Luis Prieto remake of Nicolas Winding Refn's 1996 film of the same name, Richard Coyle stars as Frank, a mid-level drug dealer in London with an eye on the big score. Believing he has a sure thing, Frank turns to Milo (Zlatko Buric) for a loan of sorts, but things go poorly for Frank. When he returns empty-handed, things go worse for Frank, but somehow he manages to buy some time. Unfortunately, Frank is having a bad week...a week which may turn out to be the worst in his life...and quite possibly, the last.
The musical score of Pusher was created by Orbital, a British electronic dance music duo consisting of brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll. Orbital began their career in 1989 and became popular, but their major breakthrough came in 1994. Their performances and the Vibes Best Dance Act Award that year earned them the distinction of being one of the few electronic acts invited to Woodstock '94. In 1997, the duo contributed music to the motion pictures Event Horizon and The Saint. They split up in 2004, but in 2008 re-emerged and soon began producing new music. By 2012, they were invited to compose the score of Pusher.
According to Paul Hartnell, "Working on Pusher was a great opportunity to create a score that draws on both moody thriller styles and dance music in equal measures. Full of anthemic film noir moments. Brilliant." Orbital's electronic dance style works perfectly in this genre of film. The techno/electronic dance music is fun, fast and upbeat. Tracks like Driving and Clubbing, VVIP, Party Freak and Higher are filled with music one would expect to hear in a club and when there is a partying crowd, there are often some extra-curricular party materials being passed around.
But Orbital's music for this film is not just about the partying aspect of the drug world. In fact, the musical duo are quite adept at manipulating their sound to become something incredibly ominous as in the tracks Turkish Tension, Pet Shop Suicide and Cell. During these tracks, the listener gets the feeling that something has gone very badly for Frank. The music becomes more and more intense as Frank gets himself in deeper and deeper.
I found the Pusher Soundtrack to be a great listen. Not only does it have the dance music sound that I enjoy, but there is an intensity in quite a few tracks that offer up food for thought. Sure, the party scene may look fun, but perhaps there are some underlying problems hidden under it all. That's where that intense and ominous sound comes in and I loved the fact that some of the more elaborate tracks like Go with the Flo contain a mix of both upbeat and intense.
Fans of the film will definitely want to get their hands on the album as will fans of Orbital. But even fans of electronic dance will want to check this album out. It's well worth the listen.