Starring Samantha Morton, Tahar Rahim and John Hurt, the six-part series kicks off with a diamond heist before delving into Europe’s criminal underbelly of gangsters and “banksters”.
Warp Films has co-produced the series, which led director Johan Renck to hit up some more Warp talent for the music. “It felt idiotic to not tap into one of the founding corners of Warp,” he explains. “Chris [Clark’s] sensibilities and brazen creativity was bang on for a score to deal with everything from the biblical grandeur of the story via brooding darkness all the way over to tender sentimentality. He had it covered.”
The score combines sounds of the natural world with “clinical, machine-enhanced production”. “It all started on a porch in Melbourne with a viola and a contact mic,” says Clark. “I’ve never worked on anything like this before and it’s probably the most exciting, fun, at times panic-inducing thing I’ve ever done.”
He adds: “The narrative of the show is vast, deep. It spans many different eras in the characters lives, so it needed to be coherent. The intention was to make the unfolding stories of the characters seem lucid and effortless. Seeing the show get edited down to this concise, six-part slab of dramatic excellence was inspiring, and definitely helped the music stay fresh. I’m honoured that The Last Panthers is the first foray into film I’ve had, it’s an immense project to be involved in.”
‘Omni Vignette’ is the first excerpt from the soundtrack, written the day after Clark’s set at Bloc. “I remember feeling ‘I never want to hear another kick drum ever again’. Which of course is nonsense,” he says. “Anyway, I did a laptop mic version, then hired a posh 80s valve mic to record it, I really like the tone, it’s stripped back, it doesn’t kick off, that’s sort of the point. Kick drums are for kicking off. It works really well for an intimate scene in Panthers, I can’t give too much away though.”
Stream it below and catch The Last Panthers on Sky Atlantic starting November 12. Watch the opening credits soundtracked by Bowie.