Soundtrack and Score Review: BLACK DYNAMITE

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
October 26th, 2009


Rating: 7/10

Although resident film talk abouter, James Wallace, got to see BLACK DYNAMITE back at the beginning of the summer during CineVegas (see James’ review HERE), the film has recently been released to theaters along with a groovy soundtrack and original score.

Most films have a soundtrack and a score, the soundtrack getting the most attention and first release, while the score is released later (if at all) and hunted down by fellow music addicts. BLACK DYNAMITE is unique in that Adrian Younge’s original score was released along with the film’s soundtrack and given just as much praise and attention.

Younge played a variety of instruments from the Rhodes electric piano, Hammond organ, Hohner Clavinet, harpsichord, synthesizer, vibraphone, guitar, bass, flute, sax, cello, and drums to create his score. Although Younge’s score was created in this decade, it stays true to the influences and style of the 1970s. The film might be a spoof on blaxplotation movies of the time, but the music is nothing but real.

The “Black Dynamite Theme” sums up the film not just in its style, but also with its story-telling lyrics. The track makes you want to get down, but also lets you in on the story of Black Dynamite. The all-instrumental tracks of “Jimmy’s Dead (Interlude)” and “Rafelli Chase” were refreshing, as they featured the harpsichord and synthesizer, instruments you don’t normally hear highlighted.

In another unique twist, the entire soundtrack is comprised of library music provided by APM Music; music supervisor David Hollander drew from APM’s catalog of 1970s music originally created for film and TV to continue the theme and groove created by Younge. These songs are instrumental only and create the overall tone of the film from tense and dramatic to fast and exciting.

If you want to a throw back to classic 1970s funk, Younge’s score is an accomplished compilation and the soundtrack is a perfect companion of actual songs from the 1970s. Having never been a huge fan of funk and soul (respect it, don’t normally get down to it), I had to admit I was impressed with how Younge’s current tracks could easily be mistaken for tracks taken straight out of the decade he was channeling. It is a good mix of dance funk and slowed down grooves. And yes, I am partial to giving a big nod to the soundtrack since I license music during my “day job” for the library (APM Music) that provided its content. If you saw the movie and dug the music, or even if you just dig 70s funk, these albums are for you.

Both the original score and soundtrack are available on Wax Poetics Records.

Original Motion Picture Score:

1. "Black Dynamite Theme" - Adrian Younge
2. "Cleaning Up the Streets" - Adrian Younge
3. "Man with the Heat (Superbad)" - Adrian Younge
4. "Shine" - Adrian Younge
5. "Jimmy's Dead" - Adrian Younge
6. "Shot Me in the Heart" - Adrian Younge
7. "Black They Back" - Adrian Younge
8. "Gloria (Zodiac Lover)" - Adrian Younge
9. "Anaconda Malt Liquor" - Adrian Younge
10. "Jimmy's Apartment" - Adrian Younge
11. "Jimmy's Dead (Interlude)" - Adrian Younge
12. "Chicago Wind" - Adrian Younge
13. "Rafelli Chase" - Adrian Younge
14. "Jimmy's Dead (Instrumental)" - Adrian Younge
15. "Dynomite (Suckapunch Re-edit)" - Adrian Younge
16. "Tears I Cry Final (Wax Poetics Bonus Track)"- Adrian Younge

Motion Picture Soundtrack:

1. “Helicop” – Alan Tew
2. "Drama Backcloth 3" - Alan Tew
3. "Master Plan" - Alan Tew
4. "Scenechange 2b" - Alan Tew
5. "Drama Backcloth 2" - Alan Tew
6. "Name of the Game" - Brian Bennett/Alan Hawkshaw
7. "The Detectives Interlude" - Alan Tew
8. "Scenechange 3a" - Alan Tew
9. "Prowler" - Brian Bennett
10. "Scenechange 8a" - Alan Tew
11. "High Diver" - Brian Bennett/Alan Hawkshaw
12. "The Detectives Link 1" - Alan Tew
13. "Spiv" - Brian Bennett
14. "The Detectives Link 2c" - Alan Tew
15. "Action in Memphis" - Johnny Pearson
16. "Thug" - Brian Bennett
17. "The Detective Link 6b" - Alan Tew
18. "Sunny Side Up" - Duncan Lamont
19. "The Detectives Link 3" - Alan Tew
20. "Eyes" - Alan Tew
21. "The Detectives Link 5b" - Alan Tew

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