Joe Hisaishi

Brother [Original Soundtrack]

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Director Takeshi Kitano's Brother is a film about a Japanese tough guy played by Beat Takeshi (which is the name Kitano uses as an actor) who travels from Tokyo to Los Angeles to find his sibling and then becomes involved in violent confrontations between Japanese gang members and the Mafia. It is, in other words a movie in the crime and action genres, and as such you might expect Joe Hisaishi's score, his sixth for a Kitano film, to be full of rhythmic, dramatic music befitting the subject matter. If so, you'd be surprised. Hisaishi's music, most of it played by the New Japan Philharmonic, is full of low-key, melodic classical and jazz touches more appropriate to a romance or, perhaps, at most, a downbeat mystery or police procedural. With many of the cues featuring Tomanao Hara's flugelhorn, the sound is often reminiscent of Gato Barbieri's music for Last Tango in Paris. Only "Raging Men" and the title track (presented in original and remixed versions) have the driving style typical of a film of this type. The result is refreshing, at least in terms of most action film soundtracks.

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