• Film: Dune (Remake)
  • Soundtrack composer: Hans Zimmer
  • Original year of release: 2021
  • Number of tracks: 9
  • Soundtrack duration: 101 mins 48 secs (CD1: 59:59 / CD2: 41:49)
  • Tracks with vocals/distracting aspects: None
  • Film score duration (with distracting tracks removed): 101 mins 48 secs
  • Suggested suitable book genres: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Expansive Sci-Fi, Vast Open Spaces
DLS Summary:
The concept behind this ‘The Dune Sketchbook’ album is superb. It’s music that’s been inspired by the ‘Dune’ remake and contains extended versions of musical explorations from the film score. In essence it’s the film score with additional sections and enhanced aspects added. A fuller and more immersive experience.

As a whole, when listened to from start to end, the soundtrack is an incredible piece of audio brilliance. There’s a hell of a lot going on within the score, so many aspects drawing the listener back to the film and building upon a magnificently evocative audio impression. In places it’s almost as if the music is painting vivid impressions from the film. Colossal cinematic landscapes and dramatic expanses in a dusty otherworld future.

For reading this is a superb audio piece, although if you’re easily distracted by slightly more dominating moments within soundtracks, then you may find there’s too much of that going on here. It’s spread across two CDs, with the second CD perhaps more suited for reading to, although the first CD is still an immersive audio experience that can be read to as well.

However, as a soundtrack to put on in the background whilst you work (or whatever), it’s quite simply an evocative and intensely impressive audio experience.

DLS Review:
Although the soundtrack explores so many audio areas of the film, there does seem to be a recurring thread throughout. Whispered chants, eerie strings, and expansive hung notes that stretch on like a huge cinematic landscape.

The first CD starts off with some creepy audio clips taken from the film. From here we’re then plummeted into the immersive score, which is nothing short of a maniacally elaborate and unique audio experience. In places it’s potentially as disruptive as it is intensely compelling listening. We have haunting vocals, and punchy chants. Furthermore, time and again the music bursts outwards, almost startling you – creating a dominating onslaught of almost audio oppression.

After such an audio assault we’re flung back into more hauntingly atmospheric chanting, like you’d hear echoing around an old church cathedral. This brings with it memories of dusty old hallways and quietly whispered secrets. All of this section is therefore perfect for reading a book to, even with the vocal elements muttered within the layered backdrop of the piece. There are also no identifiable words within any of this, but rather an almost alien language chanting in a soothing, but slightly eerie way.

Following this, but still within the opening track, we have a bombardment of powerfully evocative organs and rattling drums, all with pumped-up reverb added into the mix, creating an incredibly intoxicating audio experience. If you’ve seen the ‘Dune’ remakes, and paid attention to the score, then you might remember how this backing soundtrack really input such an audio experience into the film.

The second track (‘I See You In My Dreams’) is a wonderfully calm and atmospheric piece, with quiet and moody notes gradually and carefully increasing in strength. This is much more of a piece for reading too, with the vocal elements again haunting, eerie yet not distracting. This excellent background piece lasts the entirety of the second track, making for a wonderful accompaniment to reading.

The third track is of a similar, low-key vibe. Here the calming tones are interspersed with sound clips from the film, which give it an anxious vibe. This track is entitled ‘House Atreides’ and as such feels perfectly fitting for this. Indeed, five-minutes into the piece and bagpipes and a thumping beat bursts into the score. Again, this might be a tad too distracting for some, if you’re using the soundtrack to read to. Although, I have found that at a relatively low volume its fine and doesn’t take over from your book.

The dominance of this third track eventually tails off, leaving a quieter vocal piece in its wake. This then bleeds into the fourth (and final track of the first CD).

With this final track we return to an atmospheric score, laced with strings, flutes and modest twists. The score moves into an electric offering, with almost guitar-like tones and synthesisers adding to the whole thing, before escalating in magnificence towards a powerful and evocative piece of audio excellent. This is absolutely perfect for reading to.

Moving onto the second CD, and the general tone and dominance of the soundtrack is perhaps more reserved than the first CD. The first track on this second CD starts out with a delicate and altogether quiet string affair, with whispers of vocals accompanying the hauntingly atmospheric piece. Even when the electric guitars come into the equation, it’s still a reserved offering, reminiscent of the music by Mike Gallagher’s post-ISIS band M.G.R. At around the 5-minute mark, vocals do come into the moody score, with the strange chants delivered in a foreign, alien language.

The second track ‘Moon Over Caladan’ again starts out with an eerie and quietly reserved atmosphere. Indeed, this is perhaps one of the most subtle tracks of the entire soundtrack, gently swaying and moving along like grass in a light breeze. Only at around the 5-minute mark does the music escalate to an elaborate building of musical scales until it gradually calms down to end the track with.

After that we’re onto another atmosphere-inducing composition which relies heavily on building layers before bursting out with an audio stamp that feels like a wall of sound in its delivery of these colossal waves. Then it’s a pulse-racing audio piece, with a thumping, beating rhythm that carries you along with the sheer urgency and energy of the music.

The final track (‘Grains Of Sand’) is an energetic, but not overly dominating offering. There’s a constant feeling of escalation and a sense of moving towards something throughout this track. It’s the only track that doesn’t really change too much with what it delivers, but instead continues on with a style and theme which eventually just fades to its conclusion.

All in all though, this ‘sketchbook’ style soundtrack is quite simply a piece of audio, cinematic excellence. Hans Zimmer has once again shown his talents for composition. Furthermore, this is perhaps one of his best examples of that remarkable talent. A magnificent offering.

As a soundtrack for reading to:

The soundtrack as a whole:

© DLS Reviews

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