Netflix juggernaut Narcos has been inescapable over the past two years for a number of reasons. The performances delivered by Wagner Moura (Pablo Escobar), Boyd Holbrook (DEA agent Steve Murphy), Pedro Pascal (DEA agent Javier Peña) and Paulina Gaitán (Tata Escobar) have all been widely acknowledged as some of the finest of this or any age.
The show, which works on numerous levels has become as addictive as something the real Mr Escobar may have tried to export during the decadent 1980s. Within the story of one man against seemingly all others lays the story of a dedicated family man who will stop at nothing to provide everything he can whilst taking on the entire country of Columbia, other drug cartels and the U.S government. While there have been other attempts to tell the Escobar story, it has been the phenomenal writing of Chris Brancati and the skilled direction of José Padilha that have really set Narcos apart as one of the most must see television shows around.
The attention to detail is second to none, and this is none more prevalent than when discussing the music composed for and used within season one and two (both currently available on Netflix) of Narcos. The scores for both seasons were composed by award winning composer Pedro Bromfman (Elite Squad, Robocop) and whilst they are able to help weave the musical tapestry of Pablo Escobar’s rise and fall, they also work as a standalone listening experiences away from the show.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Pedro to discuss Narcos and his career to date for an episode of The Lakeshore Records Podcast. This was recorded shortly before season 2 hit the airwaves, and Pedro was gracious enough to delve into the sonic soundscape of 1980s Medellín and breakdown his approach to scoring the show.
And if the scores for Narcos have whetted your appetite for a larger Latino listening experience, why not check out the superb ‘More Music From’ volumes 1 & 2.
“During season one of Narcos, we discovered a wealth of Colombian and Latin music and are excited to share it outside the context of the series,” said music supervisor Liza Richardson. “We took care to make sure the song choices were authentic to the times and characters and we hope the music connects you to the rich culture depicted in Narcos.”
24 tracks spread over two volumes, all expertly chosen for a fully immersive understanding of the musical world of Narcos.
More Music From Vol 1:
01. Cumbia en el Monte – Pedro Laza y sus Pelayeros
02. Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste of Honey
03. Carta Fatal – Soffy Martinez
04. La Burrita – Los Diplomaticos
05. No Tengo Culpa – Los Corraleros de Majagual
06. Tabaco Y Ron – Rodolfo y su Tipica Ra7
07. Las Tapas – Banda 20 de Julio de Repelon
08. Maldito Cabaret – Los Pamperos
09. Monte Tiene Garabato – Son de Loma
10. La Rasquina – Gildardo Zapata
11. Porro Bonito – Orquesta Ritmo de Sabanas
12. Esclavo Moderno – Manuel Alvarez y Sus Dangers
More Music From Vol 2:
01. Tungalala (El Sapo) – Son Palenque
02. Todo en la Vida – Elia y Elizabeth
03. Sigue Feliz – Alonso y Bernardo
04. Las Caleñas Son Como Las Flores – The Latin Brothers
05. Se Me Perdio La Cadenita – La Sonora Dinamita
06. Evocacion – Carlos Arturo
07. El Elevao – Los Golden Boys
08. Llegaron los Peluqueros – Los Yetis
09. La Pelea Con El Diablo – Octavio Meza y su Conjunto
10. Caliventura – Afrosound
11. El Preso – Fruko y sus Tesos
12. Palenque Palenque – Son Palenq