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 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 1:39 PM   
 By:   chromaparadise   (Member)

I've been listenting intently to the 3rd disc which, for me, contains the musical jewels of Season 4. The quality of this product is great (I think there's some sonic improvement since Vol. 1). La La Land has a terrific product they should absolutely be proud of...right up there with Volume 1 and the Star Trek-The Motion Picture set. Some of you here have asked for my first thoughts since I got mine yesterday, so I'll give my own opinion of the contents:

Believing the Lie...

I'll start by saying that the tracks from "Gethsemane" are truly some of Mark Snow's greatest work in television, and this CD definitely bears this out. For me, these three tracks are what I paid for and I wasn't disappointed here. I'm sad that the first cue of Dr. Aurlinsky and Babcock climbing to the cave and discovering the EBE frozen in the ice wasn't included; however, practically every other bit of the score after that is represented, and that's where the meat of this epsiode transfixes the listener. We hear many fabulous variations on the "climbing to the cave" theme and "Trails" takes us on this musical journey. "Thawed" is a real 11:30 long, it bounces back and forth to the assault, identification, pursuit and confession of Michael Kritschgau. In particular, the scene where Scully ID's him through the computer with it's long sustained dirge-like chords and punchy pizzicato notes is a is the Parking Structure chase/arrest of Kristchgau by Scully. A really great surprise is the EBE Autopsy's fairly dialed down in the finished cut of the show, but here on the CD it really opens up and is VERY CREEPY. Wow! "Deep Dupe" begins with the betrayed strains of the "climbing" theme when they find the EBE is gone, Aurlinsky and Babcock are dead, but that didn't prepare me for the huge surprise: The cue was actually cut during Scully's "Believe the Lie" speech. From 1:05 to 2:15 Snow underscored this powerful confrontation between Scully and Mulder...I ran it against the picture...Guys you should have trusted in Snow and left it in. Brilliant Scoring! We finally hear with clarity Mark Snow's tragic "religioso" while a suicidal Mulder watches a tape of Carl Sagan and others mulling ETs perfectly melds to the segue to Scully telling the committee that Mulder killed himself...

Following the Lies to the Truth...

My reaction to the included cues of "Redux" and "Redux II" is a bit more muted. Don't get me wrong, the music is great, and I'm very glad to have it, wouldn't trade it for the world; howver, I'm not so sure the cues that were selected really capture the "essence" of these two episode's scores. It's more of a case of What's Not There vs. What Is There. If it were my project (which it wasn't) I would have dedicated a whole CD to this three episode arc's complete scores--yes, they're that good.

The cue on the CD, "Little Vials of Proof," takes us from Skinner's confrontation with Scully that Mulder is alive and she's lying about it through the Pentagon breach montaged with Scully running the DNA test. Make no mistake, it works a ton against the picture it was composed for. But, it does have this wandering quality that doesn't wholly rely on established themes and therefore doesn't seem to lead to a logical "getting to the point" and makes it a less involving listening experience than the "Gethsemane" cues. I would really have enjoyed the cue from "Redux" that takes us from the Govt. HQ scene when Kritschgau encounters Mulder through through the segue to CSM entering Mulder's apartment, believing he is really dead and sheds a tear and then realizes it may not be true after all. That's where "Redux" delivers some musical emotions and gives us a tremendous listening experience. Also the escape from the Pentagon is quite percussive and exciting. It's my feeling that the chosen cue seems to be both "emotionally" and literally in-between the two cues from "Redux" that pack a punch.

"Remission," the finale of "Redux II" is an exciting piece and does not suffer from the "Little Vials of Proof" problem for me. Picking up in Mulder's final hearing, through the naming of Blevins, CSMs "assasination," Blevins killing and the final "hopeful" scene at the hospital, really great stuff that I know a few here on the FSM Board really championed...You won't be disappointed. But, with "Redux II" this is a case of What's Not There for me...leaving out the lovely piano and strings melody that reoccurs 5 times in the score to accompany Scully's nearness to death is strangely no where to be found on the CD, and this to me is very puzzling. This melody is the "core" of this episode "musically." And its absence doesn't allow "Redux" or "Redux II" to coalesce into a satisfying listen. The final iteration of this melody with Mulder emotionally lost at Scully's bedside is one of the most highly affecting moments in Mark Snow's X-Files lexicon and is only 1:12 long and occurs just prior to "Remission"...I'm just very sorry this wasn't squeezed in.

Nine Minutes?...Luckily almost Ten!

What can I say about the music from "Tempus Fugit," well, "Pieces" gives me chills (yes I'm one of those odd-ducks who has a fascination with aircrash events and stories of survival, destruction and analysis). Snow's "time ticking" music for piano and glockenspiel captures both sadness, dread and the inevitable, much like the later cues in Goldsmith's PLANET OF THE APES score...a brilliant example of using another's work as inspiration and not a blue-print for copying. Listening to "Nine Minutes" the first time was an emotionally exhilliarating experience for me, this is a cue I've longed for since I first heard the music for the episode...Another "religioso" passage that accompanies Mulder's walk among the bagged human remains in the make-shift hangar-morgue that decends into the "time ticking" motif and nervy tremolo violins and violas...The Synclavier never sounded so good!

All that said, I'm not trying to downplay anything in or about the set...Haven't got through it all yet! To try and produce a set of CDs for a TV show that had 202 episodes is a Herculean Task and (much like the Academy Awards) there's always much to discuss, cheer, lament...I will say this: If you like Mark Snow's work on the X-Files, JUST BUY IT. Plain and simple. If you've already bought it, there's plenty to hear and to satisfy your appetite.


 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 1:52 PM   
 By:   foxmorty   (Member)

thanks for giving me something to read while i wait out this long work day to go home and check the mialbox. i think we'll be in total agreement concerning the redux trilogy.

 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 1:56 PM   
 By:   kusi81   (Member)

Thx for your first listen impression smile Could you tell me something about the EXISTENCE tracks?

 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 1:56 PM   
 By:   kusi81   (Member)

double post sry

 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 1:56 PM   
 By:   MKRUltra   (Member)

Finished the first disc, and sweet Space Jesus, what a great listen. So much "Mystery Motif" (the spooky ascending piano arpeggio that recurs through the entire series and the scores for both films), and you can't go wrong with that. The remastering sounds fantastic, even sounds a bit better than Volume 1, I agree -- not a slight on that set, it also sounds wonderful.

On to disc 2!

 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 3:27 PM   
 By:   Traveling Matt   (Member)

Can someone post some photos please?

 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 4:47 PM   
 By:   chromaparadise   (Member)

Thx for your first listen impression smile Could you tell me something about the EXISTENCE tracks?

Just listened through the EXISTENCE tracks. Truthfully, I don't know the episode real well (or well enough to give the kind of examination I did for GETHSEMANE, REDUX & REDUX II) I can tell you that it was very exciting and satisfying listen through almost 13 minutes of music.

I may be just winging it here, forgive me if I'm in errata, but it picks up when Mulder and Doggett follow Kryceck through a parking garage where he's seen with Knowle Rohrer. From there the rest of the music for this episode seems to follow. The sonic quality and character really shines, particularly the solo trumpet lines in both martial and melodic versions of the six-note Scully grief theme.

BTW, I've noticed that after FIGHT THE FUTURE feature, Snow's "sound" got a lot better, utilizing, I'm sure, a combination of live orchestra samples from FIGHT THE FUTURE and newer sampling technology rather than exclusively using the aging (both technologically and literally) Synclavier.

 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 4:51 PM   
 By:   guyatkings   (Member)

Chromaparadise, keep the reviews coming! I live in Canada's Northwest Territories, so despite being one of the first to order, it's gonna be a while before I get my copy.

 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 5:06 PM   
 By:   chromaparadise   (Member)

Here's a couple of pix (BTW the CD cover and booklet are not in my living room f'd them up):

and from the booklet where it talks about the 2nd and 3rd tracks from EXISTENCE:

Booklet is Awesome! Great notes, on par or better than VOL 1.

 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 6:41 PM   
 By:   MKRUltra   (Member)

Disc 2 I feel is a bit weaker than Disc 1 or any of the discs in Volume 1 (granted, Volume 1 is a superb set where 9 out of 10 cues is a knockout). I'm a junkie for great horror/thriller scores, and while Disc 1 definitely fits the bill in that regard, the selection on Disc 2 feels a bit more listless and doesn't really start to pick up in a big way til the cue from "Home" and then the excellent suite from "Tunguska" (although I have never been a fan of the final moments of that score, where Mulder is infected with the black oil -- Snow goes over the top in a really bad way, IMO). I'm sure Disc 2 will definitely grow on me, though, with the inevitable umpteen repeat listens. wink And Disc 3 is off to a fantastic start!

 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 8:51 PM   
 By:   bondo321   (Member)

Someone here did a collection of AMAZING cover art for Volume 1 and unfortunately I don't remember who it was or what the URL was :/

Anyone here wanna fess up to it? lol If so, you should totally do the same thing for Vol 2!

 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 9:34 PM   
 By:   Turbo   (Member)

I believe it was robtoliver.

 Posted:   Sep 12, 2013 - 9:45 PM   
 By:   italia57   (Member)

It's a great release, no doubt, But I was Let down by the fact that my favourite music moments from Gethsemane and Deadalive were not covered.

1st opening scene with Helicopter (after the credits)
and 2nd when Scully visits Mulder at the hospital and cries over him.

I want to believe they might be included in V3

 Posted:   Sep 13, 2013 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   Nightwalker   (Member)

Chromaparadise, thank you for the extended Review about Disc 3, which will be the first to get into my player, as soon as the set arrives here smile

Can't wait to read more of your reviews as a little teaser 'til I'm able to listen to it myself!

 Posted:   Sep 13, 2013 - 8:58 AM   
 By:   foxmorty   (Member)

 Posted:   Sep 13, 2013 - 3:48 PM   
 By:   MKRUltra   (Member)

I've listened to the entire set twice through now. Not as uniformly excellent as Volume 1, but still a great follow up.

Fan gripes: lengthy, ho-hum suites from "All Souls" and "Theef", but no room for the bridge scene score from "The Red and the Black", the centerpiece of the episode? Only one cue from "Biogenesis", containing only a brief statement of the episodes interesting "chase motif"? And many of the lengthier cues could have been improved by editing them down a bit, especially when they contain minute long stretches of histrionic stingers that don't make for great listening on disc.

But enough of that -- there's tons of amazing stuff in this set that's remarkable to finally have. I'm especially wowed by how great the interweaving scores for "Gethsemane", "Redux" and "Redux II" are, especially "Redux", which is a pretty terrible episode, but Snow's score carries it completely through those ridiculous, endless montages of purple voiceover narration. (Really love the cue where Scully chases down Kritschgau in the parking garage from "Gethsemane"!). The selection from "Existence" is also superb; love the way Snow works Scully's beautiful "grief theme" in to become the dominant theme for the episode, rising up between passages of brutal snares and finally closing Season 8 with the grief theme on piano and strings. Really powerful. (Too bad the series didn't end there where it should have).

Two years well worth the wait! smile

 Posted:   Sep 13, 2013 - 8:51 PM   
 By:   bondo321   (Member)

I believe it was robtoliver.

You were right, thanks! Rob if you're out there, would you be so kind as to design Vol 2 covers? big grin


Looks like this outstanding gentlemen beat me to the punch!

 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 2:02 AM   
 By:   chriss   (Member)

Is the "Crater Hug" motif from "Fight The Future" Snow used in "The Red and the Black" contained in the suite on the set?

 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 2:28 AM   
 By:   MikeJ   (Member)

I'm not following you. Are you asking if music from Fight The Future ended up in the suite from 'The Red And The Black' on Volume 2?

If that's what you're asking, the answer is No.

 Posted:   Sep 14, 2013 - 2:34 AM   
 By:   chriss   (Member)

I'm talking about this motif which was also used in the episode "The End". The original cue from the movie score is called Crater Hug.

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