Given that the first two volumes of Lakeshore and Invada's releases of Mac Quayle's Emmy-winning score for the USA Network series, Mr. Robot, covered the first season, it only makes sense that the third and fourth would cover the second. Those who've been privy to the labels' exhaustive releases of Brian Reitzell's work on the NBC series, Hannibal, should be familiar with how these vinyl collections work: clever packaging, gorgeous pressings, and a thorough overview of the music as it courses from episode to episode. Mr. Robot is no different, although likely more thorough – Hannibal's score drew from over 25 hours of music across two seasons, and was nearly omnipresent in every episode.
Over the course of Volumes 3 and 4's four collective LPs, the music gradually becomes darker, with the orchestral sweeps more frequently being disturbed by electronic flourishes. Given that multiple cues from each episode are included, there's a rise and fall repeatedly taking place as the rhythm of each episode's storyline plays out musically.
In point of fact, the entirety of Volume 4's second LP is dedicated to the two-part episode, and actually begins with the very last track of the first disc. It's a suite in and of itself, encompassing all of the music one has heard previously as a single, glorious album. It's representative of the fact that the music of Mr. Robot is as enigmatic as the show itself.
The way in which a cue such as 2.0_4-control-1s-an-illusion.amr begins with bass-heavy, droning low-end synths, transitions to sad and sweeping strings, and then fades out with strangely sunny electronic effects – and all within two minutes and fifteen seconds – is particularly indicative of just how flexible Quayle's work can be. Nothing is pegged to a certain style of performance or type of instrument, with the second season's music definitely more organic than the almost-exclusively electronic score to the first. It's definite change and, given interviews the composer has given, one Quayle evidently made a conscious decision to embrace.
The decision definitely works in Quayle's favor, and the music achieves a persistent sense of paranoia, while managing to keep everything from spiraling into outright dread too soon. All of the music for the final two episodes is a lot darker, and a lot more upsetting, but Quayle doesn't disintegrate everything. There's still some melody there, and even the final track, 2.9_9-takeb4ckcontrol.act manages to come across as triumphant.
Volume 3 is pressed on red translucent vinyl, with Volume 4 pressed on crystal clear with black and white splatter. They both come in gatefold sleeves with cover artwork that nods to 16-bit game consoles (Volume 3 being a lovely Sega Genesis, for example), and the gatefold spread a 16-bit representation of one of the series' locations. Both also include a poster featuring 16-bit character images. Volume 3 has what are described as liner notes, but only amount to composer Quayle listing all the equipment he's used on the series. It's interesting, but liner notes usually imply a greater insight than a bunch of gear.
MR. ROBOT VOLUMES 3 & 4 / COMPOSED BY: MAC QUAYLE / RELEASED BY: LAKESHORE & INVADA RECORDS / AVAILABLE NOW