Michal Lorenc

" The score is performed by a full orchestra with an emphasis on great string and brass writing, percussion and a great solo trumpet. "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the regular release

Psy (aka Pigs) is a 1991 Polish crime film directed by Wladyslaw Pasikowski. The plot is as follows: In good old days Franz Maurer and his partners from secret police used to live like kings. Now, they all must adapt to new post-communist environment where they are scorned and losing all the privileges. Some, like Franz, are like ordinary police fighting against drug dealers. But Franz would soon find that some of his friends are on the other side.

The film is an interesting look into the Post-communist period and became a popular film, including an exemplary score by Michał Lorenc, one of his best and most important works. Arguably, the ethnic components that colour some of his best efforts, is really the only strong suit that is missing, evident in the sequel Psy 2: Ostatnia krew and wonderful scores such as Bandyta.

The score is performed by a full orchestra with an emphasis on great string and brass writing, percussion and a great solo trumpet. It includes several wonderful ideas, starting with the semi-noble and decadent march, which adequately underlines changing climate for the brute police force. This theme is downright direct and powerful, giving the score a harsh and memorable musical identity. It ties in with the gloomy and nail-biting atmosphere provided in the overall score. I must applaud the continuous tension that Lorenc establishes through impressive sustained string and brass writing, augmented by percussion, sometimes turning into horrifying and dissonant territories, especially in violent parts of the film. By all means, Psy is an openly unsubtle and powerful work.

In contrast to all the dark material the score has to offer, there is a surprisingly beautiful theme for solo trumpet, heard in cues such as Zbrodnia. It is a spectacularly jazz noir kind of theme, that would ultimately become a recurring idea for a variety of his scores, from Rózyczka to Exit in Red, but never so strikingly beautiful.

Once you familiarize yourself with the wide variety of scores written by the composer, you will most likely discover the quality he has to offer with such great scores as Psy. However, I do feel that even in such a wonderful score as this, there are some musical influences issues. They are not as blatant as The Terminator percussion rip-off in his score to Kroll, his first collaboration with Psy director Wladyslaw Pasikowski, but to some they may decrease the value of quality.

The score to Psy has found its way in several cd releases, always including some dialogues and sound effects, such as barking dogs. I have never liked this 'bringing back the film experience' approach, but since the music is so good, and there is no alternative, I plainly endure it. The first two scores to the Psy film series are splendid. A third entry in the Psy film series, Psy 3. W imię zasad, is set to be released in January 2020 in Polish theatres, and even though there is no source to confirm this, I expect Michał Lorenc to return with another memorable score.

1. Psy (01:13)
2. Kolysanka (02:00)
3. Mafia (00:52)
4. Ona (00:39)
5. Masakra (01:04)
6. Wieczor (01:35)
7. Dom, Skrzypce i Harfa (00:53)
8. Zbrodnia (02:13)
9. Kolysanka II (01:56)
10. Korytarz i Krew (02:10)
11. Kraty (01:30)
12. Smierc Ubeka (00:45)
13. Kolysanie (01:57)
14. Umowa (01:50)
15. Toast (01:06)
16. Wojna (02:41)
17. Decyzja (00:32)
18. Zakochany Kundel (01:03)
19. Kolysanka IV (02:20)
20. Strach (02:13)
21. Smierc (00:31)
22. Oni (02:20)
23. Uwertura (06:19)
24. Kolysanka (01:13)

Total Duration: 40:55

(written 09-12-2019)
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 3 votes - average 4.5/5)

Released by

Pomaton (regular release 1992)