The first official release from multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and producer Adrian Younge was Black Dynamite, the meticulously crafted sonic accompaniment to the 2009 Michael Jai White comedy. Now, for the first time ever, Mr. Younge presents the instrumentals from Black Dynamite on his on Linear Labs imprint. Inspired by the great blaxploitation soundtracks of the 1970s, Younge commands the Rhodes electric piano, Hammond organ, Hohner Clavinet, harpsichord, synthesizer, vibraphone, guitar, bass, flute, sax, cello, and drums to craft a singular vision of the era. Since its release, the film has grown into a formidable franchise including a comic book and animated television series on Cartoon Network. Now five years later, the score is being reissued with the full set of instrumentals and four additional tracks including a rare version of “Jimmy’s Dead” by Tommy Davidson.
A certifiable cult classic, the film centers around ex-CIA agent Black Dynamite’s fight to avenge his brother’s murder while cleaning up the streets of the deadly Anaconda malt liquor. Having been involved with the film from its inception, Younge’s score is intimately woven into the film’s narrative. As editor, Younge worked closely with director Scott Sanders to ensure the authenticity of the film’s pace and musical accompaniment. The final result is a clever homage that sounds more like an unearthed gem from the ‘70s—complete with MPC-ready Wu-Tang samples—rather than a modern creation.
This authentic sound is one that Younge has been cultivating for years. His ability to replicate the nuanced stylistic effects of a bygone era are the result of utilizing exclusively vintage analog recording equipment and techniques, and long hours studying the sounds of heroes like Ennio Morricone and Curtis Mayfield. Laboring away in his Los Angeles based Linear Labs studio, Younge played every instrument on the record, teaching himself anything he didn’t already know. Through a dogged work ethic and determination, Younge has painstakingly constructed a modern vintage sound that harkens to the past with its sights on the future.
Black Dynamite is a must-have for any fan of the blaxploitation era and dark soul music, a modern-day classic whose legendary status will only grow stronger over time.