2016 has been difficult to say the least… Everyone has been waiting for this year to be over since we lost Harambe and do not get me started on Brexit in the U.K and the soon to be president of the United States of America. However, always look for that extra-thin, hard-to-see silver lining in the cloud because it’s been a great year for independent films, score composers and Netflix! Accompanying the hype around Electro-Synth tracks this year, here are five scores from scenes we know and love that will either bring back that feeling of nostalgia or awaken your futuristic self.
1.Stranger Things – Kids
If you wasn’t Eleven or the ‘Wall’ for your costume this year – did you even Halloween? The love that has been given to the incredible casting of Stranger Things and all things 80’s, including references to ‘The Goonies’ and ‘E.T’ has been real. The ‘Stranger Things’ composer Kyle Dixon introduces the kids of the show with a burst of nostalgia, which is why this track is so pivotal to understanding what the show is really about…
No adults allowed.
Other tracks to check out on the OST: ‘First Kiss’ & ‘One Blink for Yes’
2. The Neon Demon – The Demon Dance
The Neon Demon has had some backlash in the press for its lack of substance, gaining the title of a hollow horror/thriller. But no one can deny its visual beauty and vapid look into the modelling world. In a review by the Washington Post, ‘L.A. is an almost literal neon jungle’. Nonetheless, ‘The Neon Demon’ brings chills down our spines with an electrifying soundtrack to accompany the dreamy, vibrant world where even a Mountain Lion can end up trashing your motel room.
Nicholas Winding Refn forces the characters to engage in eye contact against the red strobing lights where no dialogue is needed to understand who and what their intentions are. Composer Julian Winding’s track illustrates this as ‘The Demon Dance’.
Other tracks to check out on the OST: ‘Messenger Walks Among Us’
3. Black Mirror (San Junipero) – Waves Crashing on Distant Shores of Time
For all that is neon and holy – Netflix did it again! The love for Black Mirror’s San Junipero episode is well deserved – especially because it’s known for having such a dark and chilling message behind the world of technology. San Junipero is the light of it all where the twist is actually a happy ending. Praised for its characters Yorkie and Kelly, they’re a beacon of hope to viewers, against the current situation of the world today.
This track moves with the tempo of the Ocean and gradually builds up to a climax leaving your body feeling like it’s slowly floating towards the clouds. The uprising feeling is juxtaposed with a beautifully sombre melody making us wish we had someone like Yorkie to drive into the sunset with.
Other tracks to check out on the OST: ‘Faith, Hope, Fear & Falling in Love’
4. TRON: Legacy – The Son of Flynn
Although this film wasn’t released this year – in fact it was released six years ago now, it doesn’t mean we should forget the soundtrack to this film was brought to you by the legendary Daft Punk. As cool as Disney can get, this film is the epitome of the Electro-Synth vibe and when you see Flynn (played by Garrett Hedlund) for the first time on his motorbike and then dives off his father’s tower, it was a big f*** you to the exploitation of corporate companies. It was also hella cool.
Other tracks to check out on the OST: ‘Tron Legacy (End Titles)’
5. Drive – Wrong Floor
Nicholas Winding Refn’s ‘Drive’ has that signature aesthetic edge that makes the dreamy neo-noir crime flick timeless to its viewers. Acclaimed composer Cliff Martinez who also worked on other films of Refn’s includes ‘Only God Forgives’ and ‘The Neon Demon’. Martinez composed this romantic and beautifully sad track that leaves us all heart-broken after Gosling and Carey Mulligan’s famous elevator scene.
Due to the large fan base of ‘Drive’ and its fifth year anniversary this year – a limited edition vinyl of the OST was released earlier in the year with new artwork and updated liner notes. See, 2016 wasn’t as bad as people thought…