Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein
Native Son (Milan)
Reviewed by Christina Garcia, Fri., May 3, 2019
Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein create a haunting, eerie work of expansive machine tension for the directorial debut of "post-black" artist Rashid Johnson. The producers of Netflix's Stranger Things theme and the score for Darren Aronofsky's VR series Spheres, the pair now debut their first feature-length film score for HBO with an adaptation of Richard Wright's 1940 novel Native Son. Half of local synth band Survive, Dixon and Stein set aside their Eighties-tinted vision to diffuse celestial ambient synths ("They're All Blind") with gently simmering horrors and classically ripened organ portents of some sad fate. Distilling the unstoppable nightmare advance of slicing, chain-dragging mechanical nightmares ("Panem et Circences," "The Accident"), the duo proves itself up to the challenge of delicately crafting a score for an updated retelling of an American literature classic.