Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jukebox: Jack Trammell - Critical Mass

Cinematic music often doesn't earn a lot of recognition and praise. Sure, the artists who make it can create very strong feelings - tension, fear, adrenaline - with every piece, but in a society where we see many movie and video game trailers every day the music in those trailers usually ends up not making as much of a splash as it probably should. Plus, quite often a lot of cinematic music sounds too damn similar to the untrained ear - string-heavy orchestra, epic percussive lines, and many other things almost always come up in the average musical accompaniment to the average action movie trailer. However, every so often composers can make it big. Either their music is generally more "epic" than the rest of the crowd (a la Hans Zimmer), they make a boatload of high-quality song after high-quality song (like Two Steps From Hell), or some element of their music just stands out somehow. Whenever something like this happens, people notice - if you asked any random person who Hans Zimmer was, chances are a lot of people you ask would answer correctly - and the fame that's so difficult to reach for composers of this style ends up being attainable in the end.

One of the more notable creators of this style of music recently is Jack Trammell. His song "Critical Mass," an excellent fusion of the modern orchestral style most often found in big blockbuster trailers and the balls-to-the-wall wobbles of the very best brostep, was featured in a Call of Duty trailer leading up to the release of their newest game, Black Ops 2. Now, while the game itself is a polarizing topic I'm not going to go into right now, the song definitely deserves notice for going above and beyond the call of duty for producers of this style. With its big, crashing drums supporting an excellently-orchestrated string section that conjures the exact images it aims to create, and its almost paradoxically well-crafted wobbly breakdown, "Critical Mass" succeeds in its aim to be "epic" in every way. It's a cinematic tune that manages to stand out, and it can only mean good things for Trammell's future career.

You can stream "Critical Mass" here.

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