But what would you expect from Junkie XL? This project by Dutch born and Los Angeles residing Tom Holkenborg has been around for ages and has always had a flair for improving himself. Personally, I know him from the work he did for Kong and for some Junkie XL gigs I had the pleasure of attending. He knows music like no other, growing up with Pink Floyd and King Crimson and continuously expanding his influences.
Holkenborg started playing piano when he was four years old, drums when he was eight, guitar at twelve, bass guitar at fourteen. Later he would discover synths and keyboards. He produced albums from metalbands The Gathering, Sepultura and Fear Factory and wrote music for games like Need For Speed. He worked on the 'Blade' movie and 'Nike' commercials, among others and released several albums under the Junkie XL moniker.
All that experience comes together on this soundtrack. Holkenborg studies the noble art of soundtrack making, added some of his own musical history into it and comes up with a massive Hollywood-worthy piece of work. From gentle romantic classical pieces like 'Everytime I See Here' over the epic grandeur of 'Maximum Effort' or 'Easy Angel' to breakbeat dancefloor fillers like 'Twelve Bullets', this stuff easily carries this movie.
'Man In A Red Suit' is classical Junkie XL breakbeat stuff, accompanied with the typical Hollywood-bombast, which is pretty damn awesome as a combination. I actually never expected both to fit so well together. 'The Punch Bowl' delves into the world of dark ambient, drones and soundscapes. 'Watership Down' sounds like Boards Of Canada meets Wagner, and so on. Yes, it is quite a varied album.
But apart from all these influences, this is a classic Hollywood soundtrack which probably will win some important awards in the near future. There is more coming up from Junkie XL, other soundtracks are in the making and I feel as if he can go on forever. I haven't seen the movie yet but this soundtrack gave me some expectations regarding the atmosphere of most of the scenes. If the movie is half as good as its soundtrack, it will still be awesome...