Do Androids Dream of Electric Beats? 5 Songs Inspired by Blade Runner

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By Jack

The sequel to Blade Runner, the 1982 sci-fi rainathon is nearly upon us. To celebrate we’ve collected a few songs inspired by that gorgeous Vangelis score…

5. Power Glove – Love Theme

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Say what you want, it’s hard to love a robot. Although we did vote one into office that time.

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Science fiction always runs into that criticism: “What, so it’s all about lasers and robots and shit?

Well yes it is all about lasers and robots and shit but also empathy and love. Blade Runner’s ‘Love Theme’ is untouchable and by this point the iconic theme of the film. It’s a song about a man questioning whether he as a man can love a replicant, and whether he is really a man at all.

This doesn’t pack the same emotive punch but the synthetic saxaphone hit is an unmistakable nod to Blade Runner. Yet the nocturnal chill and sensual boomy percussion ensures this is a fitting tribute, and the faint sound of the surf gives this a softness befitting of it’s exotic setting.

4. Metric – Artificial Nocturne

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Canadian alt-punks Metric begin their fifth album with a startling couplet (“Got false lights for the sun / It’s an artificial nocturne“) that ushered in an album of post-modern dread. The use of menacing synths was an obvious nod to dystopia in an album that references the corrupting influence of mass media and the struggle to stay honest in an increasingly unreal world. Synthetica shares the central theme of Blade Runner – the perversion of the natural order – and reaches the same conclusion: there will be a reckoning.

3. Michael McCann – The Hive

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You’d struggle to find a piece of music more indebted to this movie, and a more obvious evocation of cyberpunk. While it lacks the duplicity and moral ambiguity that Vangelis’ Blade Runner score allows, Michael McCann’s soundtrack for Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an enjoyable listen. The central theme ‘Icarus’ is perfect for this melodramatic exploration of post-humanism in a gritty sci-fi world, but several mood setting ambient pieces are also enjoyable, and this theme is the most notable. Set around the titular nightclub, ‘The Hive’ is a murky techno slow-jam whose eastern vocal stings are ripped straight from the streets of Blade Runner‘s Post-LA setting.

2. Crockett – City of Ghosts

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I’ve wrote about the brilliance of this album before, but like Ridley Scott, Crockett uses the rainy streets of neon-lit dystopia as a narrative vehicle for moody rumination. There is no greater evocation of hard-boiled future noir.

1. U2 – Zooropa

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I miss when U2 were weird. Though this album is more indebted to author William Gibson than Phillip K. Dick (excerpts from Gibson’s work were planned as visuals for the Zooropa tour), it’s hard not to imagine Rick Deckard’s lonely outlook. The garbled bi-lingual radio chatter and Edge’s peculiar reverb-soaked riffs are the closest U2 ever got to out and out science fiction.

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