The Traffic film franchise has entered its third stage. It began as a BBC mini-series, Traffik, then was transformed into a Hollywood motion picture, and now it’s a six-hour (including commercials) mini-series on the USA Network (the final of the three episodes airs this evening). Fans of the film version, directed by Steven Soderbergh, often credit its score, by Cliff Martinez (Solaris, Narc), for setting its mood and for amplifying the impact of its stylish production design. This new USA Network version of Traffic retains the feel of Martinez’s music with a new score by Jeff Rona, who had participated in film version’s recording sessions.
A veteran of Jon Hassell’s group, Rona has retained the Fourth World quality of film’s score, mixing ancient Central Asian ethnic song and percussion with technologized ambient textural music. Four stunning cues from his work on the film version are available for download from his own website, jeffrona.com. The tracks evidence the sort of music he has written for the TV version, the manner in which he uses spaciousness to imply tension, and how he consistently creates a bed of sound consisting of deeply rich drones. These Traffic tracks are simply titled “ex1” (file here), “ex2” (file here), “ex3” (file here) and “ex4” (file here). They segue together well. There aren’t any samples posted, yet, from Rona’s work on the USA Network iteration of Traffic. Additional cues are available from other Rona scores, including those for Exit Wounds, The Fan and Homicide: Life on the Streets.