Blade Runner & Electronic Music: A Timeless Connection

Lauren Krieger

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…”

My first introduction to Blade Runner and I didn’t even know what it was. All I knew was that I was falling in love with what I was hearing; it was absorbing and beautiful, with a magic that felt beyond this world. In fact, it was Another World, the first electronic music CD that I had purchased (that didn’t have the words “Trance” or “Anthem” in the title) as I was starting to discover more about this music that was so intriguing to me. The transition from Vangelis’ Tears in the Rain to Amoebaassasin – Piledriver introduced me to the heart filling, mind grasping power of electronic music. It feels appropriate now that this experience included the audio from the most magical scene of a movie which ended up being so deeply connected to the sound that was already starting to capture my soul.

“Ever since director Ridley Scott’s ground-breaking original, starring Harrison Ford and scored by Greek composer Vangelis, wave after wave of artists have mined the science fiction classic for inspiration. Blade Runner’s influence has infiltrated pop, hip-hop and beyond – but it is electronic musicians who have proven most gripped by the film’s murky vision of a future metropolis where the line between what is human and what is artificial is dangerously blurred.” – Fact Magazine

Soon I was told where the sample was from and was introduced to the movie itself, the emotionally absorbing experience of the soundtrack and cinematography proving why it has become such a classic among the electronic music world. As I dove in deeper I continued to hear and see continuous references to Blade Runner, and discovered the incredible respect that artists of all styles have for the magic that Vangelis created through his incomparable sound. Blade Runner and electronic music continue to be indelibly linked, whether it’s the connection between analog and digital, an appreciation for the blend of darkness and beauty, or something beyond description, it is evident that there is something special that is not found anywhere else.

FACT Magazine dives into this subject with an excellent in-depth feature and documentary that takes you inside the history, technology, and influence of Blade Runner.

“Blade Runner’s story is one of push-and-pull between man and machine – the same conflict at the heart of electronic music, an art form in which human emotions are expressed solely on machines. Maybe this is the reason for the affinity electronic music holds for Blade Runner. Whatever the reason, and whatever success of this new sequel – electronic music seems certain to replicate the style and sound of that world for decades more to come. As we explore in the [below] film, it’s not time to die for electronic music’s obsession with Blade Runner yet.”

Can’t get enough of Vangelis? Check out the special Vangelis episode of Time Out, where his newly discovered Tegos Tapes are remastered and remixed by Ingo Vogelmann exclusively for FRISKY:

Vangelis – Time Out