Brian Reitzell

Auto Music

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It's easy to forget that Brian Reitzell was already an established indie rock musician before becoming one of the most in-demand and versatile composers, producers, and music supervisors of the 2000s and 2010s. On Auto Music, his first solo album, he blends his past and present -- most literally on opening track "Last Summer," where he reunites with My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields, his partner on their BAFTA Award-nominated score to Sofia Coppola's 2003 film Lost in Translation. With Shields on organ, he and Reitzell craft a hazy, rangy excursion that takes the transporting qualities of the composer's film and television music in a very different direction. Tracks like this and the lush, shoegazey "Oskar" make an especially striking contrast from the alternately spare and frantic, percussion-heavy work Reitzell does in his excellent score for the TV series Hannibal, one of his most prominent projects at the time of Auto Music's release. His flair for percussion gets a showcase on "Gaudi," where it intertwines with piano and other keyboards so cleverly that it's as entertaining to trace the path each element takes as it is to enjoy the track as a whole. That goes double for the searing post-rock of "Ozu," which was likely named after the famed Japanese director and suggests that cinematic influences are never far from Reitzell's mind. As its title suggests, Auto Music was inspired by the composer's drives to and from his studio, making it a more personal kind of soundtrack. Fittingly, "Auto Music 1" revolves around a loose motorik beat and rippling keyboards that give way to call-and-response synths, suggesting an unusual but happy marriage of jazz and Krautrock. If this song is the intense commute to work, then "Auto Music 2" is the lighthearted drive home, riding a gracefully arching melody to the end of the album. While Auto Music is perhaps a shade less focused than the best of Reitzell's scores, its eclecticism presents another side of his talent in a very enjoyable way.

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