's Oscar-nominated Under the Volcano
vividly captures the alcoholic fog that permeates every pore of Malcolm Lowry's classic source novel -- disjointed and dissonant music steeped in the folk traditions of the narrative's Mexican setting, it suggests nothing so much as a classic North
score on a bender, reeking of tequila and stumbling through the back alleys of Cuernavaca. Per usual, North
's selection of ethnic instruments is impeccable, and he invests Under the Volcano
with a Latin sensibility that is neither forced nor condescending, perfectly underscoring the music's hallucinatory otherness -- the drunken, weaving melodies are challenging and frustratingly unpredictable, but their cumulative effect is undeniably powerful, evoking the highs and lows of complete intoxication with uncanny accuracy.