Tik Tik Tik

D. Imman

" It’s unbelievable. "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the download only release

While the Indian (Bollywood) industry has produced an incredible film legacy, film score releases have always been a neglected art. You would have to think really hard to have any recollection of one that has seen the day of light, even I struggled and came up with merely a few dozen, excluding some of A.R Rahman’s scores. It’s not very consumer friendly trying to find them, but it becomes very rewarding to browse to the huge legacy of music releases and once in a while stumble upon one by mistake. There has been a period when you could notice a downside to this foggy availability of Bollywood scores resulting in a strange phenomenon; false ’this is the first Bollywood score release’ claims emerged with each new release.

Usually music from a film is released, featuring mostly songs and one or two scoring cues if you are lucky. The 2018 science fiction film Tik Tik Tik includes a score by Manuel Vasanth Dinakaran, better known as D. Imman. Like with many commercial Bollywood projects, his song creations got all the attention in the many interviews he gave, but never really became in-depth musically, but rather sticking to a foggy ’glitter and glamour’ approach, that seemed to be about more about the ’rock star’ Imman and irrelevant things, such as his struggle to lose a considerable amount of weight. The launch of the film was preceded by a ’Tik Tik Tik Audio Launch’, focusing on the common soundtrack release, including some songs and two of cues from the composer’s score. Surprisingly, Sony India decided to release the Tik TIk Tik score digitally on the 21st of august 2018, with the disclaimer ’original background score, whose description partially ties in with the general lack of attention for scores in India.

Imman’s score features a simple and instantly affectious theme that re-occurs throughout the score and goes through various musical disguises, from a soft piano to the most commonly used electric guitar and brass synthesizer approach. It’s absolutely a cheesy, rough around the edges theme, but it occasionally is genuinely quite nice when used in a ’power anthem from the 90s approach, evident in a cue such as Asteroid Blast.

The major problem with the use of the theme, as with much of the score in general, is that it often comes out of nowhere and the music takes a lot of twists and turns. When building up the tension with a passage for some frenetic strings or the well known string ostinato, chances are very high that they are about to be interrupted by a dub step version of the main theme. Its musical tools are generally no more than degrading synthesizers at work and the compositions themselves are often absurd, while also offering short to longer moments where a musical idea actually works on a very basic level. Virtually every cue can be reconstructed into specific things that do and don’t work.

While this is the background score to the film Tik Tik Tik, in case someone forgot, Imman can’t help himself and adds vocal elements that can be placed into two categories: wordless male and female vocals, against male vocals singing lyrics. The wordless ones are brief, but make for short moments of great beauty and are integrated well into his score, which cannot be said about the second category. In Asteroid Nearing the Earth you get to hear a ticking clock, nicely resembling the movie title, while in Keep Trying to Attain PerfKection a voice is repeatedly singing the film’s name Tik Tik Tik in a dub step version of the main theme. This, I can somehow appreciate, but things take an ugly turn with a male singer suddenly singing first-rate lyrics; ’All set to board the spacecraft.... (Spacecraft Boarding), and the epic approach of Eyes on a Mission, interrupted by a change of heart and musical style with the staggering ’He’s on a mission and you can never hold him back...’. It’s unbelievable how these pointless lyrics have found its way onto the score.

Given the great unexpected nature of the score, I often found myself thinking if I had to applaud the absurd low qualities of the music and regard it as a guilty pleasure, or that I had to reserve a place amongst film scores of the lowest regions. Repeated listening have led me to conclude that I am actually quite taken by D Imman’s Tik Tik Tik score.

1. Asteroid Fall 2:41 Excellent track
8. My Son in Despair 0:43 Excellent track
9. Army Men Surround Vasu's Friends 0:31 Excellent track
10. Training Session 0:39 Excellent track
11. Talent Test 1:05 Excellent track
12. Vasu Opens the Locker 1:30 Excellent track
13. Keep Trying to Attain Perfection 1:56 Excellent track
14. A Cup of Wine 0:34 Excellent track
15. Culprit Masked 1:29 Excellent track
16. Spacecraft Boarding 2:10 Excellent track
17. Son or Earth 2:36 Excellent track
18. Into the Space 3:39 Excellent track
19. Vasu's Emotion 0:44 Excellent track
20. Boozy Life 0:53 Excellent track
21. Something Is Wrong 1:01 Excellent track
22. Fuel Leakage 1:50 Excellent track
23. Landed in Moon 0:46 Excellent track
24. Exploring Moon 3:44 Excellent track
25. Sign of Hope 1:40 Excellent track
26. Backend Dark Story 3:12 Excellent track
27. Race Against Time 1:52 Excellent track
28. Fight in Chinese Space Station 3:16 Excellent track
29. Left Alone in Space 2:06 Excellent track
30. Eyes on Missile 1:40 Excellent track
31. Thoughts of Ravi 3:39 Excellent track
32. Vasu's Recovery 1:08 Excellent track
33. Evil Voice 1:11 Excellent track
34. Asteroid Nearing the Earth 0:47 Excellent track
35. Asteroid Blast 4:12 Excellent track
36. Justice Prevails 1:26 Excellent track

Total duration: 62:22

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(total of 1 votes - average 3/5)

Released by

Sony Music (download only release 2018)