A Drive With Johnny Jewel

by Rasmus


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Johnny Jewel, the posterboy of noughties underground disco, created a haunting soundtrack for Drive that was axed. As luck would have it, you can check out the whole thing on Soundcloud.

If it's retrofuturistic, somewhat disco-inspired, and involves a range of moody synthesizers, chances are that Johnny Jewel is involved. Releasing music as part of Glass Candy, Desire, and Chromatics among others, Jewel has consistently pushed high quality music and secured himself a spot as the number one nu-disco posterboy (when that genre was still in vogue, of course).

While loyal followers of the Italians Do It Better imprint account for the majority of his fans, Jewel's fanbase has rapidly expanded recently. Among the newcomers is Danish film maker Nicolas Winding Refn, whose work includes last year's 'Drive.' Refn previously used a Glass Candy track for his 2008 movie Bronson and wanted Jewel to compose the entire score for 'Drive.' As a result, Jewel crafted more than three hours worth of music and was closely involved with the production of the movie. For reasons unknown, however, Jewel's score wax axed before the final cut. So, when you find yourself left with three hours of seemingly unreleasable music, what do you do next?

'Symmetry' turned out to be part of the answer. Although the album's connection to the abandoned soundtrack is still unclear, the subtitle, "Themes For An Imaginary Film," suggests that his 'Drive' score makes up at least parts of the album. Even if that is not the case, 'Symmetry' seems like a perfect extension of the mood of 'Drive': Ominous synthesizers, nostalgic soundscapes, and sterile auto-navigation voices dominate the two hour soundtrack. Once again, Jewel's music is lush yet sparse and focused.

If you have seen the movie, of course, it is no surprise that he went with this approach. While Johnny Jewel's two hour score might be the perfect fit for his "imaginary film," it is also perfectly suited for for a movie that balances the dramatic and the cinematic, whether or not that movie is 'Drive.'

Check out Symmetry/ Themes for An Imaginary Film below.