Being only vaguely familiar with the Olympic-related project film The Odyssey, I didn’t really know what to expect from the soundtrack. I thought perhaps, given that the film is a concept documentary, the music for it might be some indie-new-age fare, a sort of out-there version of elevator music.
I was very pleasantly surprised at how much it wasn’t like that. In fact, this may be the first time ever that I’ve wanted to see a film solely due to the strength of its accompanying music. Antanio Pinto and Dudu Aram did such a great time composing the score, I’m actually slightly concerned about seeing the film, as it’s now got some pretty high expectations to live up to.
The film The Odyssey is a joint commissioned work from Film4 and BBC Films, and covers the evolution of London from 2005 (when the city won the bid for the Olympics) and 2012 (when the Olympics are taking place). It’s a short documentary, less than half an hour, and the length of the soundtrack album actually exceeds the length of the film. This is a good thing – it gives the composers space to flesh out their musical ideas, which only makes this soundtrack even better.
In terms of style, the music has a heavy glitch electronica feel, almost industrial, and is supported by a lot of rich, gorgeous strings. Think Cinematic Orchestra meets Trent Reznor and you’ll have a good starting point. In fact, this soundtrack is somewhat reminiscent of Reznor’s own soundtrack work in terms of overall feel, but the music itself is not in any way derivative. If anything, I think it borrows more from the style of UK electronica artists like Talvin Singh, but only in the sense of sharing a common musical ancestor.
Because of its mellow, laid-back nature, this is a perfect album to put on in the background in the evening when you want something not too intrusive. But that doesn’t mean it’s boring; listening to it with headphones on and taking in all the subtle nuances can certainly be a worthwhile activity in itself. It’s the kind of album that grows and blossoms with repeat listens, which makes it a very good addition to any soundtrack collection.
In short, I can’t recommend this album enough, and I’m curious to see the film, which apparently is only screening in the UK at the moment. With any luck, it will be made available on the web at some point, and then we’ll all get to see this spectacular music in the context for which it was created.
The Odysse Tracklist:
1. Orange Town
2. Charles from Brazil
3. Zeus Talk
4. Fly London
5. Yellow Town
6. Doom Town
7. The Riot
9. British Chaos
10. The Odyssey
11. The End Is Near
12. British Chaos (Dubstep version)