I was recently recommended the new Netfilx show Dirk Gently Holistic Detective agency. The first thing that grabbed me was the soundtrack because it could have been only made by one composer, Cristobal Tapia De Veer.
His sound is unique and often features the warping and shifting of vocals to create instruments that manage to blend the organic and electronic. It’s a sound that has been used by more experimental artists before, however the off kilter style and sound design would be difficult to employ inside a soundtrack scenario unless the script would support it.
Utopia on Channel 4 achieved just that, a series that blended the thriller genre with absurdist comic book style characters, over saturated visuals and interesting shot composition. It was a show that stood out as something completely different and this soundtrack became a key element in its identity.
This style of composition especially its sound design is only possible in recent years due to the development of more advanced time warping and pitch shifting algorithms and their integration into Digital audio editing workstations (D.A.W). Some composers and musicians have taken D.A.W and turned them from a composition and mixing tool to an instrument in its own right. This is something that is prevalent throughout the history of electronic music where whole genre have been created by people who have pushed equipment in directions the original creature had no intention to. It’s the main reason that electronic music is so close to my heart and Cristobal Tapie De Veer has proved yet again that with creative artists and the constant development of technologies electronic music will continue to push the boundaries of music as we know it.
Electronic music is now the main stream and although it is all consuming at the moment overpowering older genre, we are starting to see its use more subtly as its ideas and designs are implemented into other genre. Its the seed of development for the future of music as a whole and will continue to lead the way in its development for years to come. The Utopia soundtrack demonstrates this. Although several years old now it still feels unique and fresh with the “Utopia Finale” track from season one highlighting a large collection of the style, strengths and talents of Cristobal Tapia De Veer: