Home > Reviews > TRAITOR – Mark Kilian

TRAITOR – Mark Kilian

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Traitor is an espionage action thriller directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff and starring Don Cheadle as Samir, an arms dealer and former US Army Special Forces Operative who joins an Islamic Brotherhood organization which conducts suicide bombing missions against western targets; however, unknown to the terrorists, Samir is actually a deep cover intelligence operative, who is actually working to undermine the terrorists for the US government. However, when the only federal agent who knows his true identity is killed, Samir finds himself caught between the Americans and the Muslims, both of whom seem to want him dead.

For the score, Nachmanoff turned to up-and-coming South African composer Mark Kilian, who scored the 2005 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner Tsotsi, and spent several years as an assistant to Christopher Young. As one might expect, Kilian’s music is a combination of modern, western techno-thriller music with a strong Middle Eastern inflection, which predominantly comes through the use of various ethnic string and woodwind instruments intoning above a contemporary string orchestra augmented by electronic beats.

The “Traitor Theme” is a lithe, insinuating piece for what sounds like a theremin, or some other kind of electronic hummer, an odd but strangely interesting creation. There are a number of percussive action cues, notably “Jailbreak” and “Chasing Horn”, which tick and tock to all manner of synth pad rhythms, but drive the music along pretty nicely. A couple of moments of emotional writing crop up during “Omar and Horn Say Goodbye” and others, but these are few and far between the pseudo-industrial thriller music that surrounds the rest of it.

There are also two original songs, “Ayadjidjé” and “Laisse-Toi Aller” written and performed by Kilian in collaboration with Senegalese vocalist and songwriter Marcel Adjibi, which add a touch of modern Franco-African funk and vitality to the album. Unfortunately, for far too much of its running time, Traitor is made up of underwhelming, anonymous suspense music which does nothing more than provide an internal metronome of aural accompaniment, and offers very little else in terms of a separate listening experience.

Rating: **½

Track Listing:

  • Entering the Country (2:46)
  • Thirty Years Later (1:02)
  • Traitor Theme (2:59)
  • Bombers on Board (1:24)
  • Praying in Jail (1:03)
  • On the Bus (3:28)
  • Ayadjidjé (performed by Marcel Adjibi and Mark Kilian) (4:01)
  • Do We Stop? (1:50)
  • Walk to Carter (1:49)
  • Jailbreak (2:52)
  • Young Recruit (1:31)
  • Embassy Bombing (3:39)
  • Omar and Horn Say Goodbye (1:17)
  • Emailing Clayton (3:32)
  • Laisse-Toi Aller (performed by Marcel Adjibi and Mark Kilian) (3:23)
  • Somebody Talked (2:30)
  • Prison Transport (0:53)
  • Double Raid (2:40)
  • I’m On a Meet (1:31)
  • Fatwa on You (1:15)
  • Researching Horn (2:17)
  • Soccer and School (1:17)
  • Chasing Horn (2:44)
  • Bomber Montage (1:32)
  • The End (2:40)

Running Time: 56 minutes 05 seconds

Varèse Sarabande VSD-6921 (2008)

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