Track of the Day: 'First Sleep' by Cliff Martinez

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Reader David recommends a popular soundtrack whose movie—a George Clooney vehicle directed by Steven Soderbergh—got a mediocre Rotten rating:

Hello! I listen to a lot of ambient and film music while I work, and one of my all-time favorites is the soundtrack to the 2002 sci-fi film Solaris, composed by Cliff Martinez. Ambient beds of synthesizers and the occasional swell of strings (real? electronic?) mingle with steel drum sounds—yes, steel drums!— to create an otherworldly soundscape that’s simultaneously free-floating and grounded in pulsating rhythm.

You can hear the whole album here on YouTube.

One of its most popular tracks is embedded above, and the bouncing audio visualizer adds a nice touch.

(Submit a song via hello@. Track of the Day archive here. Pre-Notes archive here.)