Gerard Johnson’s portrait of Michael – a ruthless undercover cop targeting one of London’s most violent and notorious drug traffickers – is a bleak, brutal thriller and part of its magic, helping to tell its story, propelling the action, is the score by The The.
Matt Johnson has scored the previous film efforts by his brother but here he dusts of the The The moniker and serves up some of his finest music in years; moody, driving, determined – you listen to this score and it makes you want to see the film; you go back to the music after and it reminds you of key scenes and outcomes but has its own life, urgent, propulsive, engaging.
There are moments here that achieve so much despite being little more than a small cue (Fear Porn), opening album cut, The Invisible City, is a perfect, moody, scene-setter where Splayed is abrasive dark-night-of-the-soul stuff.
There’s also twisted disco (Blondes Before Bedtime), ambient reverie (Tiny Blue Sirens) and the blurring of sonics as sound-design and film-composition merge (Killers & Concubines).
Matt Johnson has made some amazing music across an idiosyncratic and fascinating career – in recent years a good portion of that great music happens to be film scores; created to accompany the challenging and often brilliant films his brother is making.
The packaging of this soundtrack album – the special edition – is exquisite too, stills from the film and interview snippets from the brothers presented in a hardback book.