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Soundtrack Review

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Wisdom Tooth
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Ding Ke (丁可)
Label: Plaza Major Company Ltd
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 24 January 2020

Plaza Mayor Company releases the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Wisdom Tooth, written and directed by Liang Ming, who was nominated for the Asian Film Award for Best New Director. In the film, starring Yongzhong Chen, Xingchen Lyu, and Jiajia Wang - Guxi lives with and shares a close relationship with her half-brother. When he shocks her by having a budding romance with a new girlfriend, the newcomer causes plenty of unrest, culminating in the suspicious death of a fisherman. The music is composed by Ding Ke, whose previous work includes Port of Call, and The Looming Storm. The soundtrack is available for download...

I’m disappointed to announce there is very little to say about this release. I’m always open to new music and soundscapes, providing they actually achieve some effectiveness. I have many foreign films in my collection that really create an atmosphere, aided by non-Western cultures, unknown myths and legends, and an almost supernatural uneasiness relating to not feeling comfortably at home through the setting. Obviously, the film music can enhance these Twilight Zone moments. However, I like at least a little continuity where the score is concerned. A major requirement is variation, too; the composer can’t rely on one trick to see them through – which is precisely what happens here.

There are eleven tracks, all bar one of which encompass ‘ha ha ha’ huffed vocals, creating a very similar style and mood. The first two tracks I readily accepted because the idea was new. It created atmosphere and moody harmonising, but by track six the voices were annoying and beginning to grate. Then things began to sound more haphazard and amateurish to the point they were purposeful. There is a trumpet played sporadically, bass piano, background instrumentation and electronica, but very low key (if you’ll excuse the pun). There are a couple of tracks without the mind-numbing vocals – one which is a simple piano piece, and one with buzzing electronics, tinkling and rasping – and these come as a blessed relief. However, I heard ‘ha ha ha’ so many times I expected The Joker to turn up.


Ty Power

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