Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Primary Motive

The number and variety of John Cale's scores is pretty unique for a guy who kept his day job as a rock star (unlike that loser Danny Elfman). With a few notable exceptions, though, the films in question are fairly obscure and sometimes not very good.

I mean, I wouldn't expect Cale's name on an hour-long political thriller starring a guy from St. Elmo's Fire and a former child actor from "Family Ties," would you? How did he even get the job? Anyway, Primary Motive came out (on tv? straight to VHS? oh, regional theatrical release) in 1992, smack in the middle of his temporary hiatus from solo rockery and his Eno/Reed/Eno/Neuwirth collaboration streak.

The score, as it appears on Paris S'eveille, is a seven-minute tidbit. It's composed of several movements:

  1. Factory Speech: All bubbling tension and squawking synth horns. I like the composition, but Cale's synth proclivities of the period are seldom more unfortunate.
  2. Strategy Session: Synth strings, somewhat reminiscent of an Eno Variation on Pachelbel's Canon, but not as good.
  3. Closing Titles: More pensive synth strings, then a snare-drum laced credits-roll synth bass bit with some reggae touches. Weird.
It's definitely one of the weaker pieces on the compilation, which is not overly strong to start with. But it's not even the weirdest. Oh well. I suppose one has to pay the bills.

1 comment:

Mark of the Asphodel said...

According to the IMDB page for Primary Motive, one Ratso Sloman played a character named "Charlie Phelps," so I guess there's your Cale connection. Makes more sense than anything else, anyway.