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January 21, 2009 6:34 PM   Subscribe

Which movies have an electronic music soundtrack?

I get the impression that electronic music doesn't sit too well in movies. With the exception of actual club scenes (Babel, IAG Pete Tong) techno, breaks, drum & bass don't often get a look in.

So, which movies use electronic music extensively or appropriately?

THANKS for any suggestions....
posted by rocco to Media & Arts (53 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Run lola run
posted by jeb at 6:39 PM on January 21, 2009

Giorgio Moroder did a few, including Midnight Express and Cat People.

Thomas Bangalter (of Daft Punk) did the soundtrack for Irreversible.

Trainspotting features quite a bit of electronica.
posted by MagicalHypotenuse at 6:47 PM on January 21, 2009

Early electronic music: Chariots of Fire.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:49 PM on January 21, 2009

A really unique Hungarian film with an excellent electronic soundtrack. Definitely worth checking out if you haven't seen it.
posted by UnnotciedTypo at 6:50 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Blade Runner, and any other Vangelis-tracked film.
Aronofsky's Pi.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:52 PM on January 21, 2009


Clint Mansell has had a lot of work since 1998.
posted by carsonb at 6:52 PM on January 21, 2009


Logan's Run
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:53 PM on January 21, 2009

The Matrix had a predominantly electronic soundtrack.
posted by spiderskull at 6:55 PM on January 21, 2009

A bunch of the John Carpenter movies prominently feature electronic music too.

Tangerine Dream.
posted by MagicalHypotenuse at 6:55 PM on January 21, 2009

The Matrix (& sequels).

I think a lot of action (especially sci fi action) movies feature techno/electronica in their soundtracks.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:56 PM on January 21, 2009

The movie London was done by the Crystal Method. Which also reminds me, The Replacement Killers' soundtrack also had a lot of big beat stuff (including Crystal Method).
posted by spiderskull at 7:01 PM on January 21, 2009

Memento features a nice synth score.
posted by Mr Mister at 7:02 PM on January 21, 2009

Not quite electronic (as the instrument used analog tapes), but Walter/Wendy Carlos used the Moog Synthesiser to create all the music in A Clockwork Orange.
posted by plasticbugs at 7:03 PM on January 21, 2009

A Clockwork Orange, of course. Also, from the same period, the Andromeda Strain. And from the 1950s, Forbidden Planet.
posted by Rash at 7:04 PM on January 21, 2009

Sean of the Dead... maybe.
posted by csimpkins at 7:06 PM on January 21, 2009

Danny the Dog (Unleashed) - Scored by Massive Attack

"electronic" is a pretty broad term, too. The old Dawn of the Dead and other horror movies were scored with spooky cheesy synth work. Or movies with soft ambient soundtracks like Lost in Translation might also be called 'electronic.'
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:07 PM on January 21, 2009

Forbidden Planet was the first movie to have an electronic soundtrack, though it may not be the kind of electronic you are looking for...
posted by cimbrog at 7:08 PM on January 21, 2009 [2 favorites]

oh, and Hackers
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:10 PM on January 21, 2009

Plenty of electronic music on the soundtrack to Go (and in some crappier rave-ish movies from the same era, but I can't think of their titles), and in documentaries like Modulations and Better Living Through Circuitry. DJ Shadow did the score to Dark Days, and sometime-MF-Doom-associate Ray Davis did On the Ropes--those two aren't about music, though.
posted by box at 7:13 PM on January 21, 2009

Also, Monster has a great score by BT.

And if more ambient electronic stuff is admissible, the following are great:
Solaris (2002)
Donnie Darko
Me, You, and Everyone We Know
posted by UnnotciedTypo at 7:13 PM on January 21, 2009

Tarkovsky's Stalker. An example. Another. (This is one of my favorite movies.)
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:14 PM on January 21, 2009

Fight Club
Traffic has some electronic music too.
posted by aubilenon at 7:16 PM on January 21, 2009

IIRC most of the soundtrack to the movie Risky Business is electronic...sounds like Tangerine Dream. But maybe that's just the train scene? Haven't seen it in a while.
posted by jeb at 7:24 PM on January 21, 2009

The French soundtrack to March of the Penguins.
posted by Xere at 7:25 PM on January 21, 2009

Human Traffic
posted by pompomtom at 7:27 PM on January 21, 2009

plasticbugs, the Moog Modular synthesizer used by Carlos didn't have any kind of tape component, it's analog electronic circuitry through and through. And while most of the original scored music in Clockwork Orange, there is also a good amount of non-electronic music as well.
posted by dbiedny at 7:35 PM on January 21, 2009

The Exorcist, in the sense that much of it is the synthesized "Tubular Bells," but that's electronic music, not electronica.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:36 PM on January 21, 2009

Oooh! I love you Xere, I had no idea a separate score existed, let alone by Emile Simon!
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:39 PM on January 21, 2009

Oh, wait. It turns out the original Tubular Bells apparently isn't synthesized. Dipshit ROU is dipshit.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:41 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Legend Of Hell House (1973), soundtrack by Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson.
posted by SNACKeR at 7:50 PM on January 21, 2009

Ladyhawke uses electronic music extensively, but it's hardly appropriate.

You probably wouldn't want to listen to it. It's terrible mid-80's synth music.
posted by burntflowers at 8:03 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Warriors uses it for the score. Actual songs showing up are a mix of disco and pop.
posted by piratebowling at 8:07 PM on January 21, 2009

Off the top of my head:

The Virgin Suicides soundtrack by Air.
Steak by Mr Oizo, S├ębastien Tellier, SebastiAn and Kavinsky.
Snatch also featured a few (e.g. Mirwais)
posted by kepano at 8:19 PM on January 21, 2009

2010 - it was quite good too.

Escape From New York - I only know the opening track, which is great.
posted by awfurby at 9:18 PM on January 21, 2009

Electric Dreams - neat little flick and lots of electronic music, which is kind of the focus.
posted by elendil71 at 9:28 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

I stand corrected. Thanks for the additional info, @dbiedny. I'm also going to throw Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi all scored by Philip Glass into the mix. They all included traditional instruments, but synthesized music was a dominating part of all three.
posted by plasticbugs at 9:54 PM on January 21, 2009

Sorcerer has a bumping soundtrack by Tangerine Dream. The film is a remake of the classicWAGES OF FEAR and is set in the mountains and jungles of South America.

Also, Goblin's score for the supernatural horror film SUSPIRIA is almost entirely electronic...
posted by cinemafiend at 10:48 PM on January 21, 2009

WOW That's a lot of replies. You guys rock. Thank you.
posted by rocco at 10:56 PM on January 21, 2009

posted by scose at 11:03 PM on January 21, 2009

Any of the stuff scored by Harold Faltermeyer.
posted by shadow vector at 11:52 PM on January 21, 2009

Boards of Canada in Morvern Callar
Dust Brothers in Fight Club

Very pop driven but The Saint and The Beach had electonica tracks

The Diva soundtrack also had some early electronica.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 1:15 AM on January 22, 2009

Plaid worked on Tekkon Kinkreet. There's a remix compilation of the soundtrack album too.

Orbital worked on Event Horizon.

It might not fit what you're looking for, but I remember Michael Mann's Heat had some scenes with an electronic music backing - such as the last robbery / street battle scene, I think.
posted by shortfuse at 2:37 AM on January 22, 2009

Both Collateral and The Bourne Identity use Paul Oakenfold's Ready Steady Go on their soundtracks.

And the film Go has a great electronic soundtrack by BT.

And if you're into Daft Punk, it's worth checking out Electroma, the film they made in 2006. It doesn't feature any of their music, but it's pretty much a silent film scored with music from artists they like.
posted by hnnrs at 3:31 AM on January 22, 2009

Phillip Glass' score for Candyman has a strong electronic element too, albeit mixed with choirs and other organic stuff.
posted by tiny crocodile at 4:23 AM on January 22, 2009

Don't forget Tangerine Dream's score for the underappreciated Michael Mann film THIEF.
posted by Dr. Wu at 5:50 AM on January 22, 2009

Gallipoli. And it didn't improve the movie any; laser sound effects during Mel Gibson's running scenes made the 20th Century History class I was in burst into laughter.
posted by spamguy at 6:28 AM on January 22, 2009

No one seems to have mentioned The Thing, for which Ennio Morricone did an entirely electronic score. The other I was going to mention was Suspiria, but I was beaten to it.
posted by opsin at 8:08 AM on January 22, 2009

Tangerine Dream scored Risky Business. It's a classic!
posted by elmono at 8:41 AM on January 22, 2009

Air did the soundtracks for Code 46 and The Virgin Suicides.
posted by media_itoku at 9:46 AM on January 22, 2009

It wasn't a very good movie, but One Perfect Day had a lot of excellent electronic music in it.
posted by xbonesgt at 12:07 PM on January 22, 2009

posted by Gor-ella at 12:29 PM on January 22, 2009

Tangerine Dream scored "Risky Business"

as well as the underappreciated Miracle Mile.

as well as any other Vangelis-tracked film.

You can add his Bounty to the list of films with inappropriately electronic music soundtracks.

And how about Buckaroo Banzai? No soundtrack ever released, but count me among those who've dubbed the closing credits theme onto an archival cassette tape.
posted by Rash at 2:25 PM on January 22, 2009

Strong second for Run Lola Run, which is almost like an extended music video for a long, graceful album's worth of electronica (and the music is by the director, for an extra bonus of interest there).

Weird to see the multiple mentions of the Matrix movies. They have very traditional orchestral scores. As far as I recall, the only pure electronica in them is (just as the OP mentions) in the club scenes and in the underground dance party in the second movie. Some of the fight scenes (especially the first fight among Neo and all the Agent Smiths in the second movie) interestingly mix electronic beats with the more typical early-20th-century orchestral language that makes up most of the rest of their scores.
posted by kalapierson at 12:13 PM on January 23, 2009

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