Albums That Inspired Me To Write Electronic Music

Posted on August 9, 2019

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Back in 2005 I got myself a skin disease on my hands which basically fucked them all up, making it hard for me to play my guitars which were my main instrument at the time.
I managed to live with it and still play my way through elementary school and something we in Sweden call gymnasieskolan, but then in the summer of 2015 I got a second disease that totally laid waste to my hopes of continue to play with bands or music in general.
I even made a blog post about it here but I should warn you to look it up if you’re sensitive, those photos of my hands are still nasty to look at.

Anyway.. This made me completely incapable to play my guitars, I lost the ability to work at a normal job and my girlfriend at the time left me so I fell into deep depression. (Something that I’m actually still battling today)
But then I started to think about a time when I met up with an old friend and we talked about all these strange Ambient musical projects we wanted to co-create, and somewhere down that road I got more interested in Electronic music and synths in general so to make a long story short: I decided to buy my first synth and start creating these projects that had been swirling around in my mind for maybe 6-8 years or so.

I had some experience with Ambient music such as Sunn O))) and Burzum (since I am and always will be a Black Metaller) but It was at that time I started to listen to some classic artists within the Electronic genre such as Kraftwerk, Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre for example.
Now I’ve discovered a new passion in life and I could finally play some music again, so it became my therapy and after 2 years I could pick up my guitars again and I’ve been able to play ever since.

In the excitement of that I kinda forgot about my synths for a while and reconnected with my old music taste as well as discovering new stuff, but the Electronic stuff still has a special place in my heart and I haven’t given up on any of my projects, I just put it on ice from time to time.
But now I’m sensing a reconnection with this genre and my old synths so I thought this would be a good time to dust off some of my favorite albums and artists that inspired me the most during the absolute worst time of my entire life.

So I hope you enjoyed my story and my list. I’m sure you will find both albums here that are given to be on any list of great Electronic albums, but I also think you’ll find a surprise here and there.
Keep in mind that there are of course more albums that deserves to be on this list, but I’m just doing this as a fun thing for now.

In no particular order, here we go:

Blade Runner Original Soundtrack – Vangelis

I’ve always had a kinda secret fetish for the Cyberpunk genre, you know.. futuristic dystopian scocieties where everything is super dark but at the same time lit up by streams of neon lights and noodle stands, and the heavy use of Artificial Intelligence or other kind of high tec stuff.

Having grown up with the incredibly awful video game Rise of the Robots (but with it’s awesome music) and knowing it was a little inspired by the film Blade Runner I had to check it out.
I of course already knew what a classic flim BR was but I just hadn’t checked it out, but the fantastic theme written by Vangelis was some of the first synth stuff I heard after I decided to learn this instrument, and it still to this day send shills down my spine everytime I listen to it.
And if that doesn’t do it for ya, then go ahead and listen to the track Blush Response.

Blade Runner is a visually dark movie in the typical Cyberpunk fashion and Vangelis captures this perfectly.
Needs no more introduction or things to say, if you’re into synth and Electronic music then chances are that you already know and love this film and it’s score.

Oxygene 3 – Jean Michel Jarre

Believe it or not but I’m actually not a huge fan of Mr Jarre’s original Oxygene album.
I know it’s importance for the Electronic genre and it’s place in history and it deserves it, because what Jarre made back then was something never before heard.
But Oxygene 3 gives me more of a Cyberpunk vibe and if you hadn’t guessed that yet, I’m a Cyberpunk freak!

 

To be honest, it’s only the first 2-3 songs that melt together and gives me that feel, and it’s always such a heavy event everytime I start this album that I often can’t listen to it all the way through.
The opening of this album gave me so much inspiration and opened new doors for me to develope the kind of music that I was seeking to create, so it will always have a huge place in my electric heart.
It’s by far not a perfect album, but the synths, the structure and the atmosphere here is nothing short but amazing!

Die Mensch Maschine – Kraftwerk

Yeah you can’t have a list like this without Kraftwerk. It just wouldn’t be possible.
Not to mention hard to choose, because Kraftwerk has made SO many mind blowing albums.

I was going to pick Trans Europe Express (the English version) since it was my first ever Kraftwerk album (no it wasn’t you idiot, it was Kraftwerk 2…) and I bought it early in my synth stage, and it did not only teach me to appreciate the sound of the analog synthesizer, but also made me understand and enjoy the length and repetitiveness that is Kraftwerk.
Because believe me, they do write looong songs that repeats a whole lot.

But instead I eventually ended up picking the other classic Die Mensch Maschine (German version, of course) because I simply think the song collection here is much stronger, and the atmosphere here feels a little bit more Cyberpunk at points. Listen to Metropolis and the title track and I think you’ll get the picture.

A classic album that needs to be in every collection, fan or not!

Human Beyond – Blastromen

If you haven’t heard of Blastromen, they are an Electronic/Trance/Dance… whatever crap you wanna call it, band/duo from Finland.
They’ve released 3 albums so far and they all have their ups and downs, so it was a bit hard for me to choose but I ended up with their debut since Human Beyond was the first one I heard and contains songs that influenced me a lot.

Blastromen is a hard nut for me because a lot of their music is generally not to my taste, but at the same time they fill you up with such a dark Cyberpunk atmosphere that I simply can’t resist. And the vocoder here goes absolutely crazy but that just makes me love it even more!
Unfortunately (for me) there is a bit too much Trance/Dance elements and beats that’s not to my liking, but it’s stuff that I can live with and enjoy because of the atmosphere being so dark otherwise.
Here you have tracks such as Battlenet which has too much of that bad stuff on it, but at the same time it manage to kick some ass and sound cool.
But on the other hand you have the title track of their latest album Cyberia, which is pure synth orgasm for your ears without any stupid dance beats.

Now it sounds like I’m bashing them but I’m not, it’s just that I’m picking out stuff from their sound that aren’t to my likings, but I still enjoy listen to them. I did an interview with both of them a while back and they are incredible guys, so I would strongly recommend them to anyone who’s into this kind of music.

The Terminator Original Soundtrack – Brad Fiedel

Mr Fiedel much like Vangelis is a master of his craft and the soundtrack to the classic Sci Fi movie The Terminator is a true statement of that.
The film wasn’t really a Cyberpunk style but the tracks provided by Fiedel for when the character Kyle Reese has a dream or a flashback about the future war against the machines is stunning and bone chilling, and at least for me feels really Cyberpunkish.

Watching him and his fellow soldier running around a Los Angeles in ruins both hunting down and being hunted by the HK machines together with Brad Fiedel’s music for the first time was so powerful that’ll always stick in my mind.
And this was way before I started an interest in Electronic music.

So once again it’s about atmosphere and a fucking grim one too, but with that said this soundtrack has it’s fair share of 80’s cheese too so it’s not a perfect score by any means.
Still, very influential and I would recommend getting the remixed version of it on Vinyl or CD, as it’s been remixed in the way Fiedel wanted it to be from the beginning.

Rise of the Robots – Richard Joseph

This is also a soundtrack that is far from perfect and might actually be one of the lowest ranked on this list, however..
Richard Joseph does some incredible work on tracks such as the Loader’s Stage, which has inspired me a lot, and The Supervisor’s Stage.

For being such a shitty game they did a very nice job with the music and captures that futuristic darkness of robots taking over the world, and the only one who can stop them is the Cyborg, AKA you the player.
Go check it out, but don’t have too much hope for it since it’s a soundtrack for a video game, and I honestly don’t think they put down THAT much attention to it.
But it’s still worth checking out.

Photo: Robin Renmark

Posted in: Övrigt