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The Matrix (Music from the Motion Picture)

Return of the Matrix - Tracksounds Special Feature

The Matrix

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The Matrix (Music from the Motion Picture) by Propellerheads, Rob Dougan, Hive, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Marilyn Manson, Ministry, Meat Beat Manifesto, Monster Magnet, Rage Against the Machine, Rammstein

The Matrix (Music from the Motion Picture)
Propellerheads, Rob Dougan, Hive, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Marilyn Manson, Ministry, Meat Beat Manifesto, Monster Magnet, Rage Against the Machine, Rammstein
Maverick Records (1999)

Rating: 5/10

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“No small part of the success of (THE MATRIX), at least in terms of the connection with audience, was due to the net result of Don Davis' score coupled with Jason Bentley's source cue selection.”

Essence of Cool
Review by Christopher Coleman

Bursting onto the film scene in 1999 was the Wachowski brothers brainy and brawny flick, THE MATRIX.  With never-before-scene-visual effects and multilayered story, the film took audiences by surprise and quickly became a critical and popular success.  While credit has to given to composer Don Davis for his evocative. post-modern score for the depth and deep emotion of the film, the "essence of cool" that THE MATRIX oozed over its audiences has to be credited to Jason Bentley's keen selection of electronica source cues for many of the action sequences.

THE MATRIX - MUSIC FROM THE MOTION PICTURE is a compilation soundtrack released by Maverick Records which features most of main source cues from the film.  Unfortunately the soundtrack is launched by one of the more unlistenable tracks, "Rock is Dead" by Marylin Manson.  Joining this track in the not-so-hot-list would be "Bad Blood" (3) by Ministry, "Look to Your Orb for the Warning" by Monster Magnet, "My Own Personal Summer (Shove It)" by the Deftones and "Du Hast" (12) by Rammstein which tend towards the rock-roots as Manson...albeit Rammestein's track is infused with a techno-dance rhythm.  While helping to keep the sound of The Matrix edgy, these tracks are rugged, but not so "cool."  Oddly enough none of these songs are used in any significant scenes of the film, if at all.  Following the Rage Against the Machine's unmistakable sound in "Wake Up" (13), "Rock is Dead" does manage to make its way to play over the end credits.

The most entertaining cues tend to come from scenes that are within The Matrix itself or the humans own facsimile of "the facsimilie" called "the contruct." As Mr. Thomas Anderson begins his journey down "the rabbit hole" he finds himself in a dark, dance club, where he is to meet the infamous, hacker "Trinity."  A mix of "Minefields" by Prodigy and "Dragula (Hot Rod Herman's Remix" by Rob Zombie are featured as source in the atmospheric club scene. These tracks are also sequenced in order on the soundtrack: tracks 7 and 8.

One of the pieces which has become synonymous with THE MATRIX or least one of it's key scenes is the Propellerheads' "Spybreak" (2).  The piece itself was originally released in 1998, a year prior to the film, on their album Decksandrumsandrockandroll.  This cue was used to underscore the unforgettable lobby-fight scene where characters Neo and Trinity take on an entire building's worth of army-like security in order to rescue Morpheus.  The fast tempo-ed, percussion-laden, breakbeat track, perfectly fit the hyper-real stunts being performed by the two heros.  Now, it is nearly impossible to think that any other cue, original score or otherwise, could equal the sense of fun, the sense of cool, that "Spybreak" does.  Rob Dougan's special mix of "Clubbed to Death" nearly equals the "cool" factor of "Spybreak!" as it is used as underscore for Morpheus' continued training of Neo in a simulation program. 

"Prime Audio Soup" (5) by Meat Beat Manifesto is briefly used as underscore as the heros of the Nebuchadnezzar (Capt. Morpheus real-world ship) jack-in to take Neo to visit the Oracle.  The short lyrics contained in the song "Set me free." are not heard in the film edit of the cue, but yet continue to echo one of the film's themes.  Another cue, "Ultrasonic Sound" (10) by Hive is included on the soundtrack also offers matrix-appropriate lyrics, but does not make a recognizable appearance in the film itself.  One of the most famous, if not the most famous scene of the film, is the dojo fight between the Neo and Morpheus.  After the scene is initially scored by Don Davis, a special edit of "Leave You Far Behind" by Lunatic Calm which utilizes their break-beat and industrial rhythms and riffs is used to help up the intensity as their battle intensifies.

THE MATRIX was a refreshing bit of cinema that came just before the turn of the century.   No small part of the success of the film, at least in terms of the connection with audience, was due to the net result of Don Davis' score coupled with Jason Bentley's source cue selection.  Cues like "Spybreak" and "Clubbed to Death" have since been used in a variety of commercial means and along with THE MATRIX itself have become a significant part of film history.  If you found yourself infected by the "essence of cool' that the film delivered it might very be that you can experience the same on Maverick's release.


Rating: 7/10


"Fans who love Goldenthal-like strings and unapologetic orchestral action (for a change) would find this a refreshing and energizing addition to this year's collection." ***

Helen Sans - Cinemusic Reviews
The Matrix

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Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Rock is Dead (Marilyn Manson) 3:11  none
2 Spybreak! (Propellerheads) 4:00  *****
3 Bad Blood (Ministry) 5:00  *
4 Clubbed to Death [Kuraymanio Mix] (Rob Dougan) 7:26  ****
5 Prime Audio Soup (Meat Beat Manifesto) 6:17  ****
6 Leave Your Far Behind (Lunatic Calm) 3:13  ****
7 Mindfields (The Prodigy) 5:40  ****
8 Dragula [Hot Rod Herman Remix] (Rob Zombie) 4:37  ***
9 My Own Summer [Shove It] (Deftones) 3:31  none
10 Ultrasonic Sound (Hive) 4:54  ***
11 Look to Your Orb for the Warning (Monster Magnet) 4:42  *
12 Du Hast (Rammstein) 3:54  *
13 Wake Up (Rage Against the Machine) 6:03  ****

Total Running Time

63 minutes  




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