"The Beach," the Leonardo DiCaprio movie that opened on Friday and was the weekend's second-most successful movie at the box office, is set to a throbbing soundtrack featuring new songs by techno pioneers Orbital (with Angelo Badalamenti), pop-rockers Sugar Ray and pop group All Saints.
That may seem odd for a movie about an ill-fated attempt to escape modern civilization. But that makes perfect sense, London/Sire Records spokesperson Regina Joskow Dunton said.
"When you see the film ... it fits," she said of the 13-song, electronica-driven soundtrack, which was released Feb. 1.
"There is something very tribal and primitive about electronica, because so much of it is so heavily reliant on beats," Dunton said. "You're taking a bunch of modern, 21st-century kids and plunking them in this ancient place. You can argue that electronica [embodies that] juxtaposition."
Directed by Danny Boyle ("Trainspotting"), "The Beach" is based on Alex Garland's 1997 cult novel about a group of twentysomething travelers who find paradise and trouble on a remote island off Thailand.
The movie took in $15 million over the weekend, finishing just behind horror movie "Scream 3," according to the Associated Press.
The soundtrack's songs blend traditional film score instrumentation with electronic beats, the sounds of wind and waves, and the occasional electric guitar to create a dreamlike effect.
The first single, British pop quartet All Saints' "Pure Shores," was written and produced by ambient guru William Orbit, who also produced Madonna's Grammy Awardwinning 1998 album, Ray of Light.
"Pure Shoes" (RealAudio excerpt) is a wash of upbeat soul with surreal sound effects and an electronic beat. Although the single has not yet hit radio, a video has been released.
Sugar Ray's track, a cover of the Brian EnoJohn Cale song "Spinning Away" (RealAudio excerpt of Sugar Ray version), is propelled by a reggae beat and guitar chops reminiscent of U2's The Edge. New Order's "Brutal" (RealAudio excerpt) mixes distorted rock guitars with phased electronic rhythms on the band's first new release since 1993. Experimental group UNKLE's "Lonely Soul" (RealAudio excerpt) is a trance piece written in part by the Verve's Richard Ashcroft, with music by DJ Shadow.
The soundtrack also features new tunes by Moby, Leftfield, Asian Dub Foundation, Underworld, Faithless and Barry Adamson as well as previously released tunes from Blur and Dario G.