‘White Boy Rick’ in U.S. cinemas from 4th September and UK from 7th December
On 30th November StudioRichter presents the vinyl edition of Max Richter’s Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Oscar-tipped movie ‘White Boy Rick’, which once again demonstrates why he leads the field.
Directed by Yann Demange and starring Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Jason Leigh, ‘White Boy Rick’ is set in 1980s Detroit amidst the crack epidemic and war on drugs. It’s based on the true story of teenager Richard Wershe Jr., who became an undercover informant for the FBI and later a drug kingpin.
Ambience, electronica, drone, soundtrack music, classical and even post rock motifs are combined in this dynamic and transcendent work, which although exploring new ground is unmistakably Richter; set apart from his influences and peers, and streets ahead of the imitators.
Machine-made sounds growl, pulse, swell and subside. Sometimes they float and at others propel, whilst strange sensory-bending tonal resonances further immerse.
Where traditional/orchestral instruments do feature, they’re mostly blended in a perfect mix, only occasionally taking centre stage. This is perhaps the most seamless and natural fusion of organic and electric sources ever, with each track sounding like a fully-hybridised, biomechanical organism.
Capturing the murky urban menace of a criminal underbelly, at points these soundscape compositions creep up, get under your skin and enter your nervous system, giving an edge-of-seat experience, even without moving image accompaniment.
Elsewhere, beams of beauty and love still tainted with toxicity try to shine through the darkness, whilst other pieces like ‘Nonviolent Offender’, ‘Baby Keisha’ and ‘I Got Everything I Need In Life’ capture something purer, matching ‘On The Nature of Daylight’ for levels of humanity and anthemic potential.
‘White Boy Rick’ sees Richter fully grow an idea of which seeds have been sown in multiple older patches of ground. From the strange combination of furious arpeggio and gentle bells of ‘Orlando: Genesis Of Poetry’ from Woolf Works, the white-noise-background-static of ‘Infra’, to the heavily-treated, metronomic heartbeat of ‘Dopamine 2’ from ‘Black Mirror’, he has sparingly employed subtle synthesized and processed brushstrokes.
In addition to his own catalogue, Richter has often voiced a love for other’s electronic music in events, interviews and playlists. Early studio collaborations included The Future Sound Of London and Roni Size, whilst his Rough Trade ‘Counter Culture’ compilation featured Boards Of Canada Aphex Twin and Let’s Eat Grandma.
In early 2018 Richter and creative partner Yulia Mahr programmed the ‘Sounds and Visions’ weekend at the Barbican Centre which featured performances by Jlin, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Clark and Caterina Barbieri.
Richter has also commissioned remixes of his originals by Konx Om Pax, Mogwai, Digitonal and Marconi Union. Across interview and playlist pieces, he’s extolled the virtues of Floating Points, Kraftwerk, Laurie Anderson, Eleh and Nisennenmondai.
Max Richter stands as one of the most influential figures in contemporary music, producing ground-breaking work as a recording artist, composer, pianist, and collaborator. He’s best known for his genre-defining solo albums including ‘The Blue Notebooks’, ‘Memoryhouse’, ‘Songs From Before’, ‘Infra’, ‘Vivaldi Recomposed’, and the eight-and-a-half hour epic ‘SLEEP’.
Aside from these artist albums, Richter has written widely for ballet, opera and film, with recent projects including ‘Woolf Works’ at The Royal Ballet, ‘Hostiles’ by Scott Cooper, John Madden’s ‘Miss Sloane’, Black Mirror’s ‘Nosedive’ by Joe Wright, ‘Taboo’ for Tom Hardy (which gained him an EMMY nomination) and Damon Lindelof’s cult HBO series ‘The Leftovers’.
His music also featured in Martin Scorsese’s ‘Shutter Island’, Ari Folman’s ‘Waltz With Bashir’ and as the opening/closing theme in Oscar-winner ‘Arrival’, by Denis Villeneuve.
Upcoming projects include scores for Josie Rourke’s ‘Mary Queen of Scots’, ‘Werk ohne Autor’ by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and ‘Ad Astra’, by James Gray.
Max is also currently composing the music for his next studio album.