Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Prepare To Be 'Derezzed' By Daft Punk

By Scott Tre

I'm pretty much a hip-hop guy all the way (I was born in the Bronx.  Sue me).  I've never been into the electronic or house music scenes as being raised on scratchy samples prejudiced me against synthesized music.  However, I have been known to appreciate classic soul and just about anything used to score a film if it touches the right cord in me.  A couple of good examples are Brad Fiedel's electronic score for The Terminator and Wendy Carlos's score for the original Tron.  I remember humming the music to the light cycle scenes while playing with my toys as a kindergartner.  For me, Tron Legacy just will not be sufficiently satisfying unless it has great music to go with it.

When it was announced that Daft Punk would be doing the score for Tron Legacy, I felt unmoved.  Aside from having no familiarity with their catalog, I simply would have preferred to have Wendy Carlos back.  So it was with little excitement that I watched the video clip for "Derezzed", a song off of the Tron Legacy soundtrack album/musical score.  One thing about being willfully ignorant of something is that it provides ample opportunity to be very pleasantly surprised.  I know next to nothing about Daft Punk, but the musical backing they provide suits the world of Tron beautifully!  Saying that it draws you in is an understatement.  From almost the first frame I just went with it.  This is game warrior music, without a doubt.  I felt like I was attending a rave inside a video arcade, tripped out on ecstasy and watching two guys decked out in neon performing capoeira.             

I greatly enjoyed this track, and it has officially earned a spot on my iPod.  I will be setting aside space for the entire soundtrack and I may even delve deeper into the electronic enigma that is Daft Punk.  Remember boys and girls, it's always good to try new things!

Style5 Animation Takes Us On a Tour of 'The Wrong Block'

By Scott Tre

As hard as it is to believe, there are many people who still see animation as a medium for children.  Even with the proliferation of Japanese anime over the last 25 years, such attitudes persist.  Skeptics see graphic violence and explicit sex as nothing more than placebos that help man children cope with their childish viewing habits.  While such obvious elements do not necessarily constitute entertainment for "mature audiences" on their own, it is rather short sited and ignorant to maintain the stance that cartoons can only be for kids. 

Toronto based studio Style5 animation has something quite interesting in the works: an animated film noir called The Wrong Block.  It centers around retired detective Max Braddock, who awakens out of an eleven year long drunken stupor to solve one last case involving the son of his slain partner.  As the official trailer shows, the hard boiled plot is supported by some very offbeat visuals.  Character designs incorporate elongated necks and broad, parallelogram shaped torsos.  This thing definitely isn't shooting for realism, which is one of the many joys of animation.  The reality of the world being depicted can be dictated by the artists pen. 

Quirky projects like this go a long way in showing the potential for animation.  Animation is not  a genre in itself but a medium that can be made to accommodate any genre.  Luckily here in the west we have innovators like Sam Chou and his team over at Style5 who ignore silly stigmas and push  boundaries to their limits.  There's no telling whether or not The Wrong Block will be a successful experiment, but the effort is certainly worth it.

*You can find out more at the official site.