I visited the theme of Space Rock back in February 2012 (link), and in some ways, this is a follow-up piece. Rather than focusing on the rock side, this post is more about how science fiction features in electronic music. With the technological nature of electronica, science fiction is immediately fitting. Synthesisers are used to paint the musical ambience of many science fiction films.
With the debut album, ‘Dangerous Days’ receiving a 2014 summer release, new player on the block, and a very confident one.
I make dark and retrofuturistic music inspired by the 80’s
It’s a soundscape with inspirations ranging from Vangelis’s Blade Runner soundtrack through to the 8-bit sound of Amiga games consoles, and a slight hint of Daft Punk. There are also some wonderful references to ‘Terminator’ with tracks such as ‘War Against The Machines’ and ‘Humans Are Such Easy Prey’, featuring a quote from Kyle Reese.
Time and time again, veteran Norwegian ambient techno producer Geir Jenssen has fed us up a slice of outer space, in luscious, abstract soundscape form.
Check out the 1994 ‘Patashnik’ album for some cosmic exploration in audio form.
Revenge Of Calculon
Nottingham dirty synth duo, Revenge Of Calculon gig to live video feeds of robots and monsters over-loading with radiation and pulverising urban landscapes. Hear ‘X-Y-Z Rays’ as robots invade.
Expect a live show attended by anonymous, wrestling mask-wearing circuit benders.
Merv Pepler and Joie Hinton formed Eat Static, having worked together with the psychedelic concept band, Ozric Tentacles. They toured the UK’s student unions as part of the Mega Dog techno collective in the 1990’s.
Welcome to some creepy, outer space atmosphere accompanied by really dodgy cover art.
Future Sound Of London
Dead Cities was a 1996 album by the band also known as FSOL (and occasionally Amorphous Androgynous). It was another album to be heavily influenced by the Bladerunner soundtrack.
I got hold of the original version of this beauty, which came with a booklet featuring a cyber punk short story, accompanied by freaky futuristic art work.
Well, I’ve mentioned him twice already, so there is no escaping Vangelis and his seminal soundtrack to Ridley Scott’s science fiction classic, Blade Runner.
It’s a rich tapestry with elements of Eastern music intertwined in the fabric. A theme fitting with the source movie, and an inspiration to countless electronica fans.
The French duo’s soundtrack to Disney’s 2010 Tron sequel, Tron Legacy is the most confident response to Vangelis’s work. A driving techno beat works well, interspersed with moments of orchestral composition.
Daft Punk seemed to have been genetically engineered to make this soundtrack and their work is a perfect hit.
And here is possibly the band that started it off. Tracks such as 1977’s Robots started the whole ball rolling.
The vocoder is a great representation of science fiction expression, and they got everything just right before anyone even realised music could sound like this.
Electronic music is the perfect working partner for science fiction. And there will continue to be a volume of great work paying respect to the genre of ideas and imagination that is science fiction. I myself am very passionate about how science fiction meets music, so finally, here is my contribution to the world of science fiction music.