Album Review: Various Artists – Kung Fu Super Sounds

Various Artists – Kung Fu Super Sounds – Unreleased Shaw Brothers Soundtracks (De Wolfe Music Library)

Given the John Baker anthologies released earlier this year, and the upcoming Delia Derbyshire compilation, this has been a great year for the soundtracks obsessive. The de Wolfe Music Library has vaults stretching back one hundred years and as this is released, it is no doubt certain that there will be untold treasures released, many of which may never have seen the light of day before.

The Shaw Brothers, Run Run and Run Me, were responsible for a generation of Hong Kong Kung Fu movies between 1957 and their studio’s implosion in 1985. I have to put my hand up here and say I know next to nothing about Kung Fu or Kung Fu movies. But the soundtracks here -and there’s 43 of them on one disc, make for fascinating listens. they tend to zip by, but there are some gorgeous little gems here.

It’s also worth pointing out that the influence of the Shaw Brothers’s Kung Fu movies on both western cinema and music cannot be underestimated. Quentin Tarentino acknowledged that it had inspired his Kill Bill films and with its’ references to Shaolin, the Flag Of iron and the 36th Chamber, the Wu-Tang Clamn were obviously taking notes as well.

For fans of the genre this release will come like manna. The sleevenotes are impecable, like you would hope for from any release of this calibre. And for someone who knows next to nothing of the genre’s music or films, it’s a welcome insight into both an area of world cinema and music.


‘Counterspy -Dirty Ho Theme.’ mp3

‘Spin Out – Heaven and Hell.’ mp3

‘The Mystified Man -Flag Of Iron.’ mp3

For a full tracklisting see here

Kung Fu Super Sounds will be released on November 3, 2008

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