Title - 'The Knick’ (Milan Records)
Artist - Cliff Martinez
Just -released digitally via Milan Records, ‘The Knick’ (which will be available on physical CD this coming mid-September - and will actually be released on old school vinyl later thereafter) is set in New York City in 1900. A Cinemax exclusive drama TV series from Academy Award and Emmy-winning director Steven Soderbergh, ‘The Knick’ centers on the Knickbocker Hospital (I kid you not!) and the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff who push the boundaries of medicine in a time of astonishing high mortality rates and zero antibiotics.
Martinez’s 20 track album is a stunner, simply put. Encapsulating the world of the 1900’s, ‘The Knick’ revisit’s the time to perfection. His composing of this episodic TV series introduces us to Dr. John Thackery (Clive Owen), whose addiction to cocaine and opium is trumped only by his ambition for medical discovery and renown among his peers.
With tracks such as ‘I’m In The Pink,‘ ‘Placental Repair,‘ ‘Aortic Aneurysm Junior,‘ and both ‘Fire It Up Again’ and ‘New Standard Hernia Procedure,’ we get to know Dr. Thackery very well. Indeed, his character has his own backing track, which, as Martinez (‘Drive,‘ ‘Spring Breakers,’ etc.) himself has said, “I try very hard to score an entire scene using only one sound or instrument. It’s difficult and I usually end up cheating and using more.”
Having created this thematic score to ‘The Knick,’ Martinez takes us on a 1900’s journey that is entrusted with vibes of both electronic and modern in equal measures. A feeling of an authentic New York abounds on each and every track, that time period perfectly captured. Soderbergh has directed all 10 episodes of the series’ first season, but without Martinez’s musical brilliance - which actually marks the 11th collaboration between them both - this score for ’The Knick’ wouldn’t come close to being as perfect as it truly is.
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk