Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Album Review: DROKK | Music Inspired By Mega-City One

By Mary Carreon

When thinking about Geoff Barrow the first thing that comes to mind is the dark, yet melodically seductive sounds of Portishead. Or, for those who have delved into Barrow’s work a little further, maybe the in-your-face drones of BEAK> come to mind. Regardless of the project, it’s safe to say that Geoff Barrow is a musical mastermind. Despite his recent hip-hop album (which isn’t exactly TuPac caliber), the England native has a gift for making the weirdest sounds transform into spine chillingly stellar music.

During last year’s Portishead reunion tour, however, performing in front of thousands wasn’t the only thing Barrow was doing. While traveling all over the world, performing hundreds of shows and maintaining the hectic schedule of a rock star, Barrow found time to write music for his newest project: DROKK.

Although brilliant, Barrow isn’t the only man behind this album. Soundtrack composer Ben Salisbury is equally responsible for the music on the 19-track album, too. Similar to the hectic schedule of Barrow, Salisbury made time writing music for DROKK while composing music for the BBC.

Inspired by Mega-City One—the enormous fictional city in the Judge Dredd comic book series-- Barrow and Salisbury created a personal interpretation of the metropolis. Striving for something different than the typical orchestra style soundtrack, Barrow and Salisbury created heavy sounding electronic music. Think along the lines of the sci-fi thriller, Tron, scored by Daft Punk. But DROKK, on the other hand, has a captivating raw element to it that adds an incredible amount of energy and intensity to each song. The album is filled with all kinds of unique sounds; and is fitting for an action packed movie filled with thrills, explosions, and battling villains. Although dark, the electronic based instrumentals make for perfect “get stuff done” music.

Oh, and let’s not forget to mention that BEAK> is featured on the album, too, which adds a layer of diversity to the mix. When listening to the album in full, “Inhale” sticks out like a sore thumb. The fast drums mixed with the distinct guitar drones and borderline creepy sounds of the keyboard not only scream BEAK>, but also adds an upbeat, dark-rock twist to the album. As an adoring BEAK> fan, I have to say “Inhale” is exactly what the album needed.

DROKK is the product of a smashing collaboration of two very talented musicians who have impressive musical repertoires. Both bring their own unique style to the table, making for one kick ass soundtrack style album. DROKK will be made available to the public on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 and is definitely worth a listen.