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TRON Legacy

TRON Legacy

By Patrick Samuel • December 17th, 2010
Static Mass Rating: 5/5
TRON: LEGACY SOUNDTRACK SPECIAL EDITION (CD)

Release Date: December 6th 2010
Running Time: 58.44 minutes

While the UK was in the midst of Britpop in the mid to late 90’s, our neighbours in France were enjoying a wave of house music from artists such as Étienne de Crécy, Francois K, Alex Gopher and Cassius.

With their synthesisers, deep fried funk and delicious beats they dominated discothèques and crossed the borders into the European and eventually international charts. Among them were Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter who together formed Daft Punk.

They first met at secondary school and then went on to become good friends, later recording demos together. Their first band Darlin was a trio which included Laurent Brancowitz and after opening for British indie band Stereolab were reviewed negatively by Melody Maker as “a bunch of daft punk”. After not much success, the band broke up but Homem-Christo and Bangalter took the name Daft Punk.

Their first album, Homework (1997) contained the genre defining tracks “Da Fank” and “Around The World” which peaked at #1 on the Billboard charts for Hot Dance Music/Club Play.

For their follow-up album, Discovery (2001), they decided to shift the focus from the house sounds to a more synthesised sound. The album has been described by New Musical Express and Spin as a “concept album” and this is largely because the songs are used as the soundtrack to the anime film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. The music videos for the singles from the album were segments of the film.

One More Time” was the first single to be released from the album. It reached #2 in the UK charts and #1 in their home country, France.

Their third album, Human After All (2005), although it did not receive the favourable reviews as its predecessors, went on to be praised for the live shows the band performed it at. Embarking on a world tour Alive 2006/2007 to promote the album, it would earn them a Grammy Away nomination for Best Electronic/Dance Album in 2006.

Four years later, Daft Punk return with their most surprising work to date, but looking back on the band’s influences, in particular the original TRON (1982) movie, it seemed inevitable. Fated. For their live shows, music videos, interviews and photo shoots, the duo would wear futuristic robot costumes. Bangalter once said:

“We did not choose to become robots. There was an accident in our studio. We were working on our sampler, and at exactly 9:09 a.m. on September 9, 1999, it exploded. When we regained consciousness, we discovered that we had become robots.”

When TRON: Legacy’s director Joseph Kosinski heard that they were interested in doing something for the movie, he invited them to a pancake breakfast where he shared what his vision was for the movie. After finding they were all on the same creative page Daft Punk began working on the score very early on in the filmmaking process. The score would take shape over the course of three years and would contain a unique combination of orchestral, electronic and granular sounds.

The duo worked closely with the filmmakers not only on the score, but on the sound design too, especially the moments where sound design and room tones bleed into cues. It was a very sophisticated musical approach—a layering blend that occasionally blurs the line between music and sound design in a very interesting way.

Kosinksi, who also executive produced the soundtrack, says of the score:

“We’ve got over 100 minutes of music in this movie. And it’s so tied to the visuals because we had it so early, I just can’t imagine this film without it.”

Released by Walt Disney Records, the TRON: Legacy soundtrack doesn’t just showcase how versatile Daft Punk are as artist, but also raise the bar on how soundtrack scores are used in the film. Their blending of the score with the sound design and story of the film is incredibly seamless that it’s impossible to distinguish where Daft Punk begins and TRON ends.

TRACKLIST:

  • Overture (2:28)
  • The Grid (1:37)
  • The Son of Flynn (1:35)
  • Recognizer (2:38)
  • Armory (2:03)
  • Arena (1:33)
  • Rinzler (2:18)
  • The Game Has Changed (3:25)
  • Outlands (2:42)
  • Adagio for Tron (4:11)
  • Nocturne (1:42)
  • End of Line (2:36)
  • Derezzed (1:44)
  • Fall (1:23)
  • Solar Sailer (2:42)
  • Rectifier (2:14)
  • Disc Wars (4:11)
  • C.L.U. (4:39)
  • Arrival (2:00)
  • Flynn Live (3:22)
  • Tron Legacy (End Titles) (3:18)
  • Finale (4:23)

Standout tracks are The Game Has Changed with its industrial beats morphing in and out over the orchestral and synth arrangement, it gives you a sense of the size and scope of the Grid. The dreamlike Nocturne is comprised solely of synth pads and almost has a Vangelis feel, with hints of Blade Runner and Hans Zimmer’s Inception score. It’s a stark contrast to Derezzed which erupts as a full-on dance track, but for the next track Fall, it combines all of these elements creating a sound which feels like a hybrid of Inception and The Matrix. With Rectifier they really show off their skills in scoring. The layers and complexity of the sound they create is inspiring and breathtaking to listen to.

While Daft Punk might have started out as just one of the many bands on the French house music scene, by maintaining creative control over the music and image, they’ve risen high above their former peers to a new futuristic plateau where we ask “What next?”

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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