Hey friends, here’s my latest mix. I named it Jungle Bump. This is a colorful blend of woozy deep house, epic ambient, melancholy techno, and all sorts of genre-agnostic magic that fits between world music and new age and humid environmental bliss. It’s meant to conjure the specific type of daydream euphoria I associate with getting lost in the sprawling weird world of JRPGs, without using music that actually comes from or sounds like those games.
So really, it’s the soundtrack to a certain shade of nostalgia that runs through memories of exploring spaces that don’t exist, from early childhood on up through today, now playing with my own kid on my lap. It’s a warm feeling, utterly lost but totally relaxed, at peace, vibing with existence – and it’s a place I go to in my head when I need to calm, re-center, check myself, whatever. I figure that’s something we can all use now and I hope this music conveys it well.
Replicant began as an imaginary soundtrack to Blade Runner 2049 – weirder, noisier, darker, and more futuristic than the music in the film. I watched it and loved it, but kept thinking that they played it safe with the score. I thought I could do better with a mixtape; rather, some of my favorite artists have already mapped this sound out.
But then the mix gained a life of its own as it neared completion. It got more perseonal as it grew. Now I can say that it is simply my cyberpunk dream score for life in 2017 and beyond.
In an interview with Pitchfork last week, Oneohtrix Point Never explained how he needs weird breakages and colliding contrasts to happen for music to feel truthful, and how this also applies to all good film scores. After listening to his soundtrack for Good Time, a new film by the Safdie brothers, reading this passage felt like a tiny lightbulb flickering on.
It’s the rough, distinctive patina surrounding everything he’s ever recorded, the philosophy underpinning the very reason his music is so often astonishing. It’s something he’s expressing most clearly on this, a movie score that basically functions as a proper new album.
I’ve been playing a lot of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Let me tell you about a weird little moment I just experienced in this sublime cyberpunk role playing game.
For a week now, I’ve woken with this song stuck in my head.
Modern Love takes off like a bottle rocket, perfect as the lead tune on David Bowie‘s 1983 pop opus, Let’s Dance. It’s about as get-up-and-go as any song has ever been. I feel an electricity pulsing through me the second those first guitar stabs hit, and it doesn’t let up even when the melody fades a few minutes later.
If you’re not already in the mood for this kind of energy, I present a pair of films that absolutely nailed it. I can’t help but get caught up when seeing either of these scenes; the positivity is infectious:
I was aimlessly browsing and came upon the Ghost In The Shell original score on CD. Loving the film, though having not seen it in years, I knew it would at least conjure some nostalgia for a time long gone. Nostalgia is achieved within 5 seconds of the opening track. Beyond that, it gets very interesting.
College – A Real Hero (feat. Electric Youth)
So you may be nodding your head with sublime abandon, smiling at the overtly direct lyrics, precious vocals and selfconsciously 1980’s production sensibility while the song plays. If not, I’d wager that you have yet to see one of the best films of 2011, Drive. There’s a certain neck-hair-raising context this song is placed into…
The story of a quiet stunt man who moonlights as a getaway driver, caught up with affection for a woman who melts his stoic edge, sacrificing his safe routine for the good of others has been done. Director Nicolas Wending Refn not only spikes this coulda-been-warhorse recipe with wincing violence and tender detail, but cuts through the surface coolness to reveal the messy desire, motivation and reason behind the action and reaction. In other words, we’re shown something any hack can make cool and slick, boiled down to – and built up from – the frail humanity from which is grows. In simplest terms: it’s a thriller done goddamn RIGHT for once. And the music is superb.