Dancing Astronaut’s most inspired electronic music film scores

Electronic music and contemporary film go hand in hand. As technology advances in the audio realm, producers and composers are often among the first to employ it in their projects. These new sounds are applied in multiple scenarios to add further impact to each plotline.

Few are better at utlizing these new advancements than electronic musicians themselves, who dedicate their studio time to finiding innovative new ways to utilize these tools in their art. Crossover between club music and film scores has thus been inevitable, and we’ve seen numerous scores crafted by artists who’ve earned their stripes outside the composition realm and offer a futuristic touch to the projects they’re enlisted for. We’ve assembled a few of our favorites at Dancing Astronaut—ranging from Daft Punk‘s contributions to Tron, to Blade Runner‘s groundbreaking soundtrack penned by Vangelis.

The Social NetworkTrent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross‘s soundtrack adaptation of The Social Network earns its spot on this list not just for how it captures the intellect-inspiring aura of its film’s lead plot, but also the angsty dark threads that are woven through its themes and characters throughout. Reznor (and as of recently Atticus Ross) are ultimately known for work as Nine Inch Nails, and those influences are definitely present in The Social Network‘s OST, but it’s more of the duo’s artistic flexibility that makes their 2010 scoring such a success. Nobody would’ve ever expected chiptune electro-house jams from the industrial rock instrumentalists, but as Oscar award now sitting on Reznor’s shelf might agree, there’s a time and a place for everything.

Listen to the full soundtrack here.

Attack The BlockBasement Jaxx

Part of the reason that we don’t see more electronic film scores is that a lot of movies simply don’t call for them. Attack the Block, on the other hand, begs for it. The 2011, John Boyega-led flick follows a group of South London teens who use whatever means possible to protect their neighborhood (i.e. the block) from an alien invasion. Local London legends, Basement Jaxx, hopped on board to score the film, stamping the gritty, and often times beautiful electronic soundtrack with ample amounts of English pride.

Listen to the full soundtrack here.

HannaThe Chemical Brothers

It’s hard to argue that The Chemical Brothers re-invented the wheel with their OST of Hanna, a 2011 thriller about Eric Bana’s wilderness raised assassin daughter, but that’s not to say that their transition to the silver screen wasn’t perfectly on point. The duo marinates the soundtrack in their badass, rough around the edges atmosphere, but seasons and garnishes it with just enough light-hearted innocence to reflect the movie’s themes of childhood and growing up.

Listen to the full soundtrack here.

TRONDaft Punk

There has never been an electronic movie soundtrack with as much hype as Daft Punk’s TRON OST, which I guess is about as shocking as the sky being blue. Thankfully, the robotic French duo has built much of their brand on living up to this hype, and their soundtrack for Disney’s blockbuster film was no different. With its retro-digital setting, and necessity for lively, as well as touching moments, TRON offered the ultimate synergy for Daft Punk to flex their ambitious and versatile production skills. As great as the soundtrack is,

Listen to the full soundtrack here, but don’t miss the standout Amazon Exclusive track, “Sea of Simulation” below.

Steak – Mr. Oizo / Sébastien Tellier / SebastiAn

Steak is a bit more underground than the other movies on this list, but is as prime of a cut as any. Directed by Quentin Dupieux (AKA Mr. Oizo), Steak is a bit of a coming of age tale, both for its high-school aged characters, and the early Ed Banger protégés, Sebastien Tellier and SebastiAn, who helped score it. The film is a high-school comedy about trying to fit in, and the soundtrack hits the mark here, but almost more intriguing is the early strands of Ed Banger DNA that constantly show themselves in tracks like “Skatesteak” and “C.H.I.V.E.R.S.”.

Listen to the full soundtrack below.

SuspiriaThom Yorke

After turning down an offer to score Fight Club decades prior, Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke wrote his first feature film score in Luca Guadagnino’s 2018 remake of Suspiria. Yorke largely disregarded the soundtrack of the original film, instead choosing to take inspiration from electronic producers like James Holden and the iconic dystopian OST from 1982’s Bladerunner. As brooding as it is atmospheric, Suspiria‘s soundtrack revels in the bleak, yet artistic cultural landscape of its 1970s Berlin setting.

Listen to the full soundtrack here.

Good Time – Oneohtrix Point Never

Josh Safdie admits to imagining Warp Records‘ Oneohtrix Point Never’s music as “soundtracks to movies that never existed,” so what did he do? Went ahead and made those movies. Good Time stars Robert Pattinson in a dark and twisted crime-thriller, with a perfectly fitting electronic score, as during the writing of the soundtrack Oneohtrix was encouraged by the directors to take his inspiration material and make it “more fucked up.” The result is, well, a bit fucked up, but also a texture-filled electronic soundtrack that tells a story of robbery and redemption entirely within itself.

Listen to the full soundtrack here.

Blade RunnerVangelis

It wouldn’t be a proper list of electronic music scores without the one that arguably started it all: VangelisBlade Runner. As evocative and vivid as the album’s source material may’ve been in Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic, Vangelis’ harrowing soundtrack doesn’t only stand on its own nearly 30 years later, but has effectively laid the groundwork for film scores and electronic music as a whole throughout that time. Rich in its audio storytelling with tracks like “Wait For Me” and “Love Theme,” Blade Runner’s OST rightfully sits atop the Mt. Olympus of electronic scores.

Listen to the full soundtrack here.