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This review was first published on CLUAS in 2001
Other albums reviewed in 2001

Accelerator OST - Various Artists

Ronan takes the Accelerator soundtrack for a spin

A hearty "fair play" must be bandied about to the compilers of this fine soundtrack. For it to be an Irish release makes the backslapping all the more vigorous. "Accelerator" the movie is an above average Irish road movie yarn, à la "Courier" or "I Went Down", in which the main gist is a Belfast-Dublin joyride race type thing. Unlike most soundtracks to any movie set in and amongst the 32 counties "Accelerator" wisely avoids any diddly-aye route and instead goes for a more upbeat and ultimately enthralling route. Before you even listen to the soundtrack you are struck by the impressive cast: David Holmes, Fridge, Brian Eno, Howie B, Portishead's Adrian Utley and Goldfrapp's Will Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp amongst others. Add in the Irish Film Orchestra and Nick Ingman on orchestration duties and you've got something eminently special.

Starting with a driving ensemble main theme the soundtrack is quick to throw in some early gems. Brian Eno contributes the Prodigy meets Leftfield bump and grind of "Corrosive Beat Treatment" sounding like a man with the urgency of escaping an earthquake and David Holmes, already a superb judge of the soundtrack genre, adds to his already impressive array of soundtrack work with the superb piano-led "16 Seconds". It's a superb opening trio and there's more where that came from. The vastly underrated Fridge chip in with a 12-minute plus "Sequoia" which sounds like a frightened Orb stuck in a delay enriched studio. A simple violin, drums and bass epic its components are placed into a movement so that the listener has music his eyes as well as his ears can follow. This musical motion continues with Daddylonglegs (a duo comprising of Howie B and Jeremy Shaw) quirky "Pony Express" contribution. Like most Howie B material it rumbles in the right way and never becomes too overbearing in its progression from gently tweaked beginning to explosive, corrosive conclusion. The original score material by Utley, Goldfrapp, Gregory, and Irish Film Orchestra et al is also of the highest standard. Taking an adventurous route of combining a "regular" orchestra with 4 decks and the contemporary know how of its composers, they pull the whole thing off with some aplomb and, in the process, create a fixating and entirely credible soundtrack. The string enriched "End titles" suite for instance wouldn't look out of place on a Portishead, Massive Attack or indeed a Goldfrapp album.

Overall, "Accelerator-The Soundtrack" (the dream of new No Disco presenter Leagues O'Toole) is a credit not only to those involved in bringing it to the silver disc (groan!) and vinyl, but to those with a vision for what an Irish Film Industry should entail. Good films, good music, no Corrs references.

A perfect soundtrack to an edgy night anywhere, and a perfect soundtrack to an edgy movie. Top class.

Ronan Casey

(bullet) Accelerator is released on the Volta Sounds label.

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