Most of us are fans of Cliff Martinez, we just didn’t realise it. A former Captain Beefheart and Red Hot Chilli Peppers drummer, and composer of rapidly increasing mainstream repute,
Cliff’s compositions have spanned 25 years across films such as Sex, Lies and Videotape, NARC, Traffic, Solaris, Drive, Spring Breakers and Only God Forgives. Drive, as he himself admits,
marked a tipping point; the moment the man behind the music became almost as prominent as the directors and actors hitting the headlines.
But it’s not Drive and its Gosling-fuelled frenzy we’re here to talk about; it’s the ambient masterpiece, Solaris.
Over a decade on from the original film and soundtrack release, the music is being given a loving,
vinyl second life courtesy of Invada Records — the label run by resident Spotify hater and Portishead honcho, Geoff Barrow.
Indulgently pressed in three different, limited edition vinyl versions, it’s a resurrection that has collectors on edge as we hurtle towards the end
of the year.
See, where Steven Soderbergh’s cinematic take on Stanislaw Lem’s 1961 novel split opinion, the appreciation for the deep, Gentlemen
cerebral score that complemented it so perfectly has endured.
Characterised by the darkside of baritone steel drums and the natural
warmth of orchestral ambience, in hindsight, Gentlemen
Solaris should have been the score to raise Cliff’s profile to a new level.
That he’s had to wait a decade could have made him a little bitter; instead the growing, belated acclaim continues to come as a welcome surprise.
Reef Younis: It’s been over ten years since the original film and soundtrack; do you know what instigated the re-release? How involved were you with the process?
Cliff Martinez: I didn’t instigate the idea of re-releasing it but I’m glad somebody did.
They stepped forward and volunteered to re-release it, which I embraced
That was the extent of my involvement, but I better get a copy [laughs].
RY: The steel drums are a big influence on the score and you seemed to find this dark side that’s the polar opposite to upbeat calypso rhythms. What made you even consider
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