Cliff Martinez - Far Cry 4 O.S.T

by Steve Reynolds Rating:7 Release Date:2014-12-08

A soundtrack for a video game is not something I would generally look to review. Maybe because I’m an old sod, I’m not a ‘player’, and also cause I associate such albums for spotty teenagers who need a good dose of fresh air. But on this occasion, the draw to review the music for Far Cry 4 is that highly acclaimed Hollywood Composer Cliff Martinez has stamped his mark all over it.

The album is 46 tracks long. Yes, that’s a long album but then I guess a video game has a lot of scenes right? Therefore there’s a need to freshen up the scenes constantly to negate the need for flagons of caffeine just to maintain high levels of concentration.

This album has ubiquitous, clean lines of electronica. From the start we get the beard-stroking, almost trance-like mix of oriental chimes, thinly veiled tribal drums and soaring beautiful Asian vocals on ‘Trial By Fire’. A darkly enchanting beginning.

By the time we reach ‘Into the Fire’, Martinez has scratched around to introduce some intensity to proceedings. It's a skitty, fluid mix of pulsing beats and cranky dystopian drum-patterns with dark goth lineage, all carefully wrapped into 122 seconds. Now that's what you call an economic and hedonistic arrangement.

Pulses start rising when the BPM makes a marked step up again. Racing beats, pummelling drums; I am thinking this may fit in snugly with a driving scene within the game.

This album is steeped in all the best moments of electronic music and Martinez does have effortless way with the construction of his electronic portfolio. However, there is one negative in that there are a lot of repetitive tracks here. I did find myself fast-forwarding to find something that would break the chain of slow, patient noodlings. A minor complaint - there is no debating this album has legs.

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