City of Industry

Original Soundtrack

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City of Industry Review

by Amy Hanson

Think about Harvey Keitel. Think about what kinds of songs you'd pick to put in his movie. The result is, most assuredly, everything included on the City of Industry soundtrack. As a trip-hopped compilation, the album is without fault. As an indicator of just how far "underground" dance music had seeped into the mainstream by 1997, it's massive. And as a mirror of the darkness that percolated through the film, City of Industry is perfect. It's a rare success, concocting a blend of tracks that not only reflect the action onscreen, but also work together out of the cinema and long after the fact. This set does both with ease. The artists included read like a Who's Who of the late-'90s dance industry: Massive Attack, Bomb the Bass, and Tricky represent trip-hop's holy trinity with "Three," "Bug Powder Dust," and "Overcome," respectively. But that's just the beginning. What made this particular soundtrack so vital at the time of its release was that many of the tracks culled for the disc were new to ears in the U.S. Lush's "Last Night" could initially only be heard as a promo B-side; both "Walking on Water" (Palm Skin Productions) and "Rocco Sings for a Drink" (Death in Vegas) were import-only; and Mr. Jones' "Red" was a vinyl compilation track -- great if you were one of the few people who still owned a record player in 1997, but infuriating for the rest. Butter 08's "Degobrah," meanwhile, was remixed specially for the OST. This is a timeless collection; it grooves, it rocks, and it's creepy to boot. The songs get under your skin; the sounds are ethereal and sweet, raucous and menacing. And it's never once watered down for those not in the know.

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