EL CAMINO boosts a soundtrack composed almost entirely of authentically vintage library tracks that were originally created for film & television of the 1970’s & early 80's. Today, music like this is considered the holy grail among record collecting aficionados & have been sampled by producers of the hip hop world for decades. Being a fan of that genre, I have always been captivated by the use of samples. Whether it be a dreamy Rhodes piano, a catchy guitar riff, funky bass line or kickin’ drum beat, over the years I became obsessed with who sampled what. Crate digging as a hobby eventually fused with my life long passion for filmmaking when I began the process of writing EL CAMINO. I knew the film would have a retro vibe with strong Hispanic influences, so I turned to the Latin-Fusion songs of early Santana, specifically the first few studio & live LP’s. Listening to that special blend of rock, jazz, blues & psychedelic motivated my entire writing process, through every script version & draft.
Years later, when it came time to make the film, the producers & I had no music plan in place, let alone a proper budget for it. As shooting went on & budgetary constraints lead to script alterations, I decided to assemble a new batch of crate digging tracks as the film started to reshape. Tracks that better fit the tone of the performances & shooting locations as well as the story & subplots. By the time we wrapped principle photography & pick up's, I had assembled 20-something retro music tracks to begin editing/scoring the film to. These temp tracks consisted of tunes from all over the world, from the likes of Miles Davis, Gato Barbieri, Lyn Christopher, Lonnie Liston Smith, Francis Lai & even a hidden gem from Kool & the Gang. This collection of compositions got me through the rigorous task of assembling & molding the film into it’s final cut. As great as the music made the film, the reality was that the rights to these songs would have cost way beyond our modest budget for the whole film.
We considered hiring a band to create an original score but going that route would have lost that analogue aesthetic that had complimented EL CAMINO so well. That’s what lead us to APM Music. APM produces & represents the largest, most diverse collection of musical genres that have been used in Oscar winning films, Emmy winning television & popular video games. They also happen to house the rights to a few well regarded libraries amongst the crate digging community, including; Bruton, KPM & Themes International music. These old school U.K. based labels are chock-full of timeless tracks from veteran composers such as Alan Hawkshaw, Alan Parker, Brian Bennett, James Clarke, John Cameron & René Costy. These labels also happen to catalog tracks that I just so happened to use in the temp soundtrack. The fact that they owned the rights to these tracks & many more just like it was all the more reason to go with APM & re-score the film with this distinct music.
The team at APM really worked with us in order to secure the rights to these classic library tunes & I was easily able to re-score the whole film with them. Thanks to APM Music, we were able to maintain that retro vibe that helped make EL CAMINO so unique.
-Sean Daniel Bauer
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