Noice (Part 2)

Here’s the rest of my favorite soundtracks to listen to, especially when working at night.  Of course, it’s an ever-growing list and has a few left out… partially because I’ve gotten sick of them, but mostly because I can’t remember them all.  But yeah, below are a few more of my staples.

transformers Transformers

I know, I know.  But like I said in the previous post, these are my favorite work themes precisely because they’re not iconic.  They don’t muddle what I’m working on, creatively.  Jablonsky filled this score with powerful anthemic melodies that helped me enjoy reading the Sinestro Corps War like a pig in shit.  And that’s a good thing.

Neon Genesis Evangelionevangelion

And while we’re dealing with big robots and proud majestic themes, we contrast good guy music with my absolute favorite bad guy audio.  Anytime an angel shows up in the cartoon, the music jacks up the tension ten-fold, which is why the Eva OST always has to be on queue for sinister shots.

jinrohJin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade

But sometimes ominous music has to be big and grandiose too, and that’s where Jin-Roh comes in.  Evocative of dystopian scenery, this OST has a healthy balance of destructive melodies and sentimental snippets.  And on a side note, this feature had one of the most man-tear choking endings of any animated film.  Ohgoddamnit.

ironmanIron Man

Among the most recent of my favorite scores, Djawadi’s compositions had the upbeat feel of Ghost in the Shell, but de-personalized it to the point where it feels more like an anthem than a personal soundtrack.  Conversely, while GITS has a more textured feel to its sound, Iron Man’s as sleek as the hotrod-hued suit itself.


It seems fitting to end this list (for now) with my latest favorite.  Mansell’s soundtrack is lonely and emotive — equally uplifting and haunting.  The string symphonies and piano-drum pieces both succeed in saddening without being depressing, a definite must-hear.

Noice (Part 1)

Can’t not have music playing when I work.  The pencils become stale and the inking tedious.  Sure I listen to a handful of bands, but I tend to prefer instrumentals so I don’t have some guy telling me what to think the music is trying to say — know what I mean?  And I guess, by that same logic I don’t stick to the iconic scores coz they’ll get me thinking about the movies they came from, even subconsciously.  I mean I love Williams, Zimmer, and Horner, but few things are weirder to me than drawing a superhero sequence to the Back to the Future soundtrack.

“This ends NOW!  Face the wrath of my… MARTYYY!!!”

No.  So here I poke at you with five (of ten) of my  favorite movie scores to listen to when bands don’t cut it.  The list tends to change depending on my headspace and the actual material I’m working on, but this is the soul of it.

The Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone ComplexGITS

You can’t go wrong with Yoko Kanno when you’re looking for a mix of classical and tech.  The GITS score’s rich strings inspire grand themes worthy of everyone’s inner Shirowe.  I make sure this is playing when any piece of art calls for something epic or a climactic scene needs sprucing up.


This is probably the single most-listened-to soundtrack I own, as I most enjoy it in conjunction with a suspenseful read.  The Hitchcock-esque pulses have served as accompaniment for such books as Locke and Key, The Surrogates, 30 Days of Night, Fell, and most recently Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing.

Cowboy Bebop: Music for Freelancecowboy bebop

While Kanno’s original jazzy score for the series continues to be among the best ever for any animated work, I find it to be too upbeat for working late at night and can be a bit jarring.  The remixes in this volume are a great alternative while still capturing the happy-go-lucky essence of the initial Seatbelts renditions.

matrix reloadedThe Matrix: Reloaded (and Revolutions)

Sure, The Matrix films have one of the most identifiable themes around — what I can only describe as drunken warp-trumpets on speed — but the second and third film’s action sequences didn’t use as much Manson and Zombie, and so the musical score’s energy is much better distilled.

Now and Then, Here and ThereNow and Then

Not since Glory have I heard so rich a dramatic symphony, and I first found it in an unsubtitled cartoon that literally got me all man-teary more than once.  I listen to this soundtrack when drawing dramatic and altogether uplifting scenes, though the darker melodies aren’t anything to scoff at either.