Soundtracks are sometimes called the “little sister” of Cinema, they are often considered LESS than the photography or the plots. This interpretation, so deep into our minds, has led several soundtracks to be just “company” for the actual film, however, thanks to very good musicians and good judgment on compilations, there are some excellent soundtracks over the decades.
This time we will focus on the electronic ones, scores made not only with electronic instruments and computers, but the whole “electronic language”: loops, progressive structure, Synths disturbance, etc… And here we have 11 examples of great techno/IDM/D&B/House/ambient/experimental you SHOULD know. Shall we?
11. Midnight Express (1978) by Alan Parker
Created by Giorgio Moroder, it contains two fundamental things of the decade: disco and experimental synths. The plot holds itself without the music (it is, after all, true events), however, the full avant-garde, atmospheric tunes aim to the loneliness and trouble in Billy’s head. Not to forget that it has its cheesy moments, but which 70s movie doesn’t have them? You have to keep in mind that there are great differences between the soundtrack album and the soundtrack used in the actual film.
1) “Chase”: A clear example of fantastic space disco, so European but so New Yorker at the same time. Resemblance of the early space disco, 8:30 minutes of what, 12 years later, would become electronic dance music.
2) “Istanbul Opening”: Fantastic atmospheres, with reminiscences of avant garde construction, experimentation in sound and airs of Arabian music, close your eyes and let the journey begins!
10. Trainspotting (1996) by Danny Boyle
The cult movie about heroine and Scotland has a magnificent mix of electronics and rock: the very powerful and youthful sound of the 90s, where barriers among music genres conflicted for an entire decade. A very fresh, very innovative compilation is also full of renowned names (Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, New Order) that make the experience fun. 29 songs compiled by Damon Albarn (Blur) ranked as the 7th best motion picture soundtrack in history by Vanity Fair. Don’t miss any of the songs.
1) “For What You Dream Of “by Bedrock Feat. KYO. Great electro track with house-like vocals. Long and trippy and the perfect suit for the movie.
2) “Born Slippy” by Underworld. Massive hit in 1996 and 1997. Energetic, fast and defiant: mix of rock vocals with hard electro beats. It’s a clear invitation to drugs, and how drugs will fuck you up.
9. The Social Network (2010) by David Fincher
The only soundtrack in the list that actually won an Oscar (Best Original Score). Mark Zuckerberg’s (far from true) story of Facebook leads a shy but beautiful soundtrack, made of synths and beat boxes. The excellent movie, however moves in a different way from the soundtrack. The two don’t seem to be cohesive with one another, also several songs from the movie, like songs from the Beatles and the White Stripes, don’t appear on the released soundtrack. Trent Reznor (NIN) shows us his softer side in this dreamy soundtrack.
1) “In Motion”: Fun, energetic and in constant growth, sets the tone for the entire soundtrack and keeps you focused.
2) “Painted Sun in Abstract”: Soft but far from boring, takes several musical ideas shown in other parts of the soundtrack, just to improve them.
8. Dredd (2012) by Pete Travis
The recent cult movie delivers an innovative soundtrack, combining analog instruments and computer production. Alien sounds and deep reverberations follow the beat that keeps us on our toes the entire film. The music is so accurate you feel the beat when you read the comic. In the production of this soundtrack, Paul Leonard-Morgan slowed the songs he composed by thousands of percent to match the visuals (slo-mo). Great action movie and great action soundtrack.
1) “Cornered”: Perfect example of slow motion in both soundtrack and movie.
2) “Poison Lips” by Vitalic. Great sweet song made for the dancefloor, great production like anything from Vitalic.