Friday, November 25, 2011

Linwood Riley - Last Days Of Summer

Hear The Track Here

I suppose I really should stop bleating like a frightened sheep about my dislike for soundtracks (of all stripes) because I sure as hell don't seem to be able to avoid any coming down the pike. There are, of course, a couple of indie soundtrack musicians that I do like but they are usually the ones that have the visuals to go with the music, which is where soundtracks belong. One of the most important aspects, for me anyway, of soundtracks is that they either evoke a mood or an image. That to me seems to be the whole point of the things. So if it's not really part of a visual experience or it evokes nothing other than being a piece of music (of whatever genre) it isn't a soundtrack as such.

Having stomped over that old ground until its microscopic dust, let's turn to Linwood Riley who just happens to be one of those soundtrack musicians (he's made some cracking comic strip/cartoon soundtracks, all on his page). Linwood was also a member of Chicago's Muse Machine a while back going under the name byte19 or in collab with another MM member, The Rascal Theorist.. So he's a busy boy see...Linwood manages the evocation thing nicely enough and, as I say, he has worked with visual material before and I sure liked that. Wonder Woman Original Soundtrack (May 2010) is exactly what I would expect when faced with the 'here's a soundtrack' request

Unlike some overblown horrors I remember, Linwood keeps his tracks short, and to the point because - after all - it's only to illustrate. Or in this particular case, to evoke that end of summer feeling almost all of us would recognise. Certainly the first part of the track (say two minutes) definitely had me feeling melancholy and a bit down, shuffling the fallen leaves of the autumn disconsolately and remembering how long it takes for winter to be gone. Yeah, pass me a tissue would you...? Sad then is the feeling Linwood was trying for and succeeded for the most part. There are a couple of odd things about it (I think I noticed a gap there somewhere in the structure) and the sound was fairly pedestrian which was a bit puzzling.

Or maybe it's just me being a bit crabby...

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