Rachel by Paul Johnson actually inspired me to watch Blade Runner in the first place three years ago.
Last month, the increasing popularity of internet mixtapes had me resolve to make one myself - but what theme? After peeking at iTunes, an impossibly wonderful idea dawned... songs evocative of the themes and sounds of Blade Runner. What started as an exciting concept soon ballooned into a gargantuan, stressful effort as the category became more and more broad and full of possibility. Vangelis helped make Blade Runner's music almost a genre itself, complete with sub-genres: ominous, fantastical, cold minimalism (as in the film's prologue and "Blade Runner Blues") meanwhile expertly contrasted and blended with woozy, more vulnerable ambiance ("Wait For Me", "Rachel's Song", "Memories of Green"). Which mood should this mix take? Space constraints meant excluding a lot of key artists (Eno, Susumu Hirasawa, Gorillaz, Philip Glass, etc) but since this is such an interesting topic I resolved to includ links to more mixes and info for future reference. If I come across anymore particularly interesting related music, I plan on updating this post. Please share your suggestions and feedback!
KEY THEMES: surreal, futuristic, alienation, dystopian, industrialization, atmospheric, city life, rain, neon, sci-fi, fantasy, minimalism, ambient, man vs. machine, mortality, dreams
KEYS OF LIFE | KLAUS NOMILISTEN | YOUTUBE
FILM ONE | JOHN FOXX
MAKING OF CYBORG | KENJI KAWAI
MANIFEST DESTINY | DAMON ALBARN & MICHAEL NYMAN
PROLOGUE | VANGELIS
REDHEAD GIRL | AIR
ORCHID CLUB | BLONDIE
BURNING BRIDGES | JAPAN
DEEP HONEY | GOLDFRAPP
THE END OF EUROPE | RYUICHI SAKAMOTO
IN MCDONALD’S | BURIAL
WAIT FOR ME | VANGELIS
DEDICATION TO A. TARKOVSKY | EDWARD ARTEMIEV
JEMSHEED | AYSHAY
ELEGIA | NEW ORDER
LAVENDER GIRL | JARBOE
INTO THE LIGHT | SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
MOTORWAY TO DAMASCUS | THE DIVINE COMEDY
FROM THE AIR | LAURIE ANDERSON
RADIOACTIVITY | KRAFTWERK
THE THINNER THE AIR | COCTEAU TWINS
SAKURA | JOE HISAISHI
SPHINX IN THE NIGHT | SYOKO
NEON GUMBO | JANELLE MONAE
TIME TO DIE | GARY NUMAN
EPILOGUE | YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA
WOW | LAUREL HALO
ABOUT THIS MIX:
This collection was constructed to give a cinematic sense of beginning (foreboding, fantastical minimalism - the opening titles); middle (swooning, dreamlike atmospherics with an edge of worry, dread, uncertainty - as in "Rachel's Song", "Memories of Green"); and end (sense of closure and death with a few strange, bittersweet strands of hope). Hopefully it somewhat mirrors the film's evolution of alternating moods. It features some obvious choices like Kraftwerk or the Esper Edition of Vangelis' soundtrack (including many beautiful tracks that weren't even used in the film), less common but deeply suitable songs and artists, and some wild-card personal favorites.
MORE BLADE RUNNER-ESQUE MUSIC:
-These two lists index a large amount of music inspired by the film.
-Sister by Sonic Youth is largely inspired by Philip K. Dick's work, even down to the title.
-Kuedo's Vangelis-inspired work is littered with comments about how he should compose music for a BR sequel.
-1999 by Prince: "Prince credited the movie Blade Runner as an influence on the album’s sound as well as the sets of the corresponding music videos." (x)
- Tubeway Army’s entire Replicas LP is a concept album inspired by Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.
- This Mortal Coil's It Will End in Tears is darkly atmospheric, especially "Fond Affections", "Waves Become Wings", and "Dreams Made Flesh".