The latter’s spectacular work in Group 7 managed, in a single stroke, to not only create a true modern genre classic, but also a film completely ours (Spanish), incorporating wisely all the traditional crime film elements, mainly those of the Seventies. One of the film’s finest traits is Julio de la Rosa’s brilliant work. His soundtrack provides rhythm and atmosphere ripe with tension and fury, taking advantage of the story’s lights and shadows.
The music combines modern elements with sound and rhythm experimentation, sharing, somehow, the tone and spirit developed by their Seventies counterparts.
The film was his third time putting music to an Alberto Rodriguez’s movie-before came After and Seven Virgins-, so it was important. Third time lucky, as the saying goes. The quality of his work didn’t go unnoticed, however. Eventually, he got his first Goya nomination, something that meant a small milestone in the closeminded soundtrack universe, hardly used at that time to something not smelling symphonic enough. As Julio explained, he took the opposite direction: …after all, the film was a sewer story. Corrupt policemen cleaning off Seville of junkies and prostitutes before the 1992 Universal Exhibition. Sewers. Police brutality. Corruption. Hypocrisy. So, when it came to set it to music, I needed to be at street level too. All the characters, in one side or the other, are thugs at the end of the day. To transform the soundtrack into a character I had to be one of them…
The first thing Julio started to work on, as he usually does, was thinking about the instrumentation that could accompany all those emotions. The final decision was to use a wild percussion, representing perfectly the story’s brutality. So I took a steel drum and I started to pound at it in the wrong place (that is, at the sides) with two drumsticks (not the steel mallets).The sound a steel drum emits when played that way goes right into your eardrum and can even make you deaf if you are not careful… That sound is completed with some elements of smaller percussion, and also with pans and giant drums. That set, when accompanying the action, doesn’t need anything else. That’s the reason why some of the pieces are exclusively percussion. If anything, the melody accompanying the score can support it lightly in certain moments. Because, obviously, it needed a melody.
The result is an incredible, varied, propulsive music, which knows how to take advantage of the protagonists’ intertwined evolution to produce a sound for the lights and the shadows of this harsh, dull Seville where it takes place. A music as complex as the personality of its many characters’, and as full of rage and regret as the spirit of a human being taken to the brink.
1. Intro y persecución
3. San Luís
4. Carretera y WC
23. La traición
24. La humillación
25. Lucía muerte
26. Muerte Amador