One of the more exciting creative partnerships to emerge in the past few years has been that between composer Cliff Martinez and director Nicolas Winding Refn. Martinez’s cool, pulsating sound was a perfect fit for the slick pop thriller “Drive,” and the grim tale of cyclical vengeance in “Only God Forgives,” and the duo are back at it with upcoming fashion world horror “The Neon Demon.” And Martinez is more than happy to keep his artistic relationship with the director going strong.
“Nicolas also sends me his script and he talks to me about the project before he even shoots it….I think I know what kind of music Nicolas likes, so I kind of stay in that territory,” he told Thump earlier this year. “After doing a couple of films with him you realize monogamy has its benefits. You understand what he’s looking for, the communication becomes better, and usually you go a little deeper each time. I think ‘Neon Demon’ had some similarities to ‘Drive,’ it’s kind of a sparse electronic score. Music writing has a juicy role in ‘Neon Demon’ — well, I haven’t seen the finished film, but there’s over an hour of music. And there’s a lot of places where the music is really pushed out more into the spotlight, even more than ‘Drive.’ I think I got a bigger part in the film, it’s flattering.”
Certainly, Martinez’s work is an integral part of the fabric of Refn’s films, and these two exclusive tracks — “Don’t Forget Me When You’re Famous” and “Messenger Walks Among Us” — see the composer provide synth dripping atmospherics, along with his trademark propulsive sound, that are perfect complements for the high end world that Elle Fanning traverses in “The Neon Demon.”