Paul Haslinger’s hypnotic synth score for AMC’s masterpiece TV drama Halt and Catch Fire is an evocative and nuanced body of work that references his Tangerine Dream past to help tell the fascinating story of the early tech boom of the 1980s and 1990s. Today, Vehlinggo proudly premieres the fantastic “Mosaic,” a cue from Halt and Catch Fire – Original Television Series Soundtrack, Vol. 2. The full album comes out Friday via Lakeshore Records. It’s a work of genius.
Haslinger — who has previously featured on Vehlinggo in an interview — said this about the moving “Mosaic” in a statement:
“Starting the fourth season, this track was written to accompany a 5-minute opening montage set in Gordon’s mind. The visual narrative depicts and juxtaposes various memory strands in a loose, dream-like fashion, and it was my pleasure to follow along with the music, quoting a variety of HCF-themes and setting the stage for our final season.”
Halt and Catch Fire: One of the Best Shows Ever
Christopher Cantwell’s and Christopher C. Rogers’ Halt and Catch Fire ran on AMC from June 2014 to October 2017 and starred the supremely talented Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishé, and Toby Huss. The tech drama’s four seasons represented yet another masterpiece from the network that brought us shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men, capturing innovation and interpersonal dynamics in a deep and compelling manner amid the backdrop of the rise of PCs, online services, and the World Wide Web. Haslinger’s minimal electronic score offered a profound complement to help tell the story. The show (and the score) are very important to this writer.
Not longer after the show ended, Haslinger and I mourned the show’s premature end in an interview, wondering about the stories never told (and discussing his retro-yet-contemporary synth score, the first volume of which at the time saw a fantastic vinyl release from Fire Records).
The Vol. 2 OST — which Lakeshore Records is releasing in digital form on Friday, April 5, with Fire releasing a special Record Store Day UK vinyl edition on April 13 — continues the musical story of the show that the LA-based, Austrian-born Haslinger tells so very well. (Pre-order the release now on iTunes.)
I urge you to purchase both HCF scores pronto and binge-watch the show. The visuals, the performances, the stories, and the music will stick with you long after those final moments. I personally revisit the score and show on a regular basis — I find myself actually missing the characters sometimes.
More about Paul Haslinger
Haslinger has scored a host of films, video games, and TV shows that you’ve no doubt enjoyed over the years.
You can get some great background information and insight from the Vehlinggo interview, but below is some more background:
Haslinger began scoring short films in the late 1990s, in addition to programming and arranging film scores by Graeme Revell, including The Siege, Pitch Black, and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Starting with 2000 HBO film Cheaters, Haslinger scored several films by director John Stockwell, including Crazy/Beautiful and Blue Crush. He began scoring video games with 2005’s Far Cry Instincts for Ubisoft Entertainment. Haslinger’s music for Showtime series Sleeper Cell was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2007. Other notable soundtracks Haslinger has composed include Death Race (2008), Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009), The Three Musketeers (2011), Underworld: Awakening (2012), Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016), and AMC show Fear The Walking Dead.
Paul Haslinger is also known for his involvement with legendary German group Tangerine Dream from 1986 to 1990. During the ’90s, he also released a few solo albums (three under his own name and one as Coma Virus) that explored various ethnic influences, as well as industrial, dark ambient, and trip-hop. He has collaborated with Nona Hendryx, Jon Hassell, Lustmord, Fennesz, and many others.
Still want to learn more about synth scores for film and TV? Check out these in-depth interviews with Cliff Martinez (Drive, The Knick) and Mac Quayle (American Horror Story, Pose, Mr. Robot). And don’t miss this podcast episode interview with Le Matos (Summer of 84, Turbo Kid).