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Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie, the creative force behind A Winged Victory For The Sullen and Stars Of The Lid, spruces up his soundtrack portfolio – while his music has been licensed for Hollywood films like Transformers or Like Crazy before, the New York composer also penned the score for a handful of feature films himself. Arriving via his regular label Erased Tapes, his soundtrack for the 2015 documentary Salero is the first to get its own release.
Set in the world’s largest salt flat, Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, the film documents the locals’ struggle to survive in a barren landscape – its vastness, almost infiniteness which the visuals convey so spectacularly couldn’t find a more apt expression than in Wiltzie’s all-encompassing, multi-layered string drones. Exploiting their environment while being exploited themselves, the inhabitants of the region source Lithium, the key component in most rechargeable batteries, underneath the earth. Offering such insight into the protagonists’ lives, the film’s intimacy finds its musical expression in the warm timbre of the cello opening ‘Bring This Place Back To Life’. With the narrative unfolding as a tale about the dangers posed by industrialisation, ‘Wealth Baby’s’ surging violins and foreboding timpani create a palpable tension crescendoing into a dense multi-chord – Wiltzie translates the film’s far-reaching implications into grande musical gestures of the highest emotional impact.