The soundtrack to the stars (& lasers & spaceships & ...)
February 11, 2018 10:21 AM   Subscribe

Music/Roleplaying Filter: I'm running a science fiction tabletop roleplaying game for friends, and it's been superbly fun. We've talked about adding some mood music to help set the scene (e.g., foot combat; space dogfighting; exploring a space station; walking down the streets of an arcology). What are your favorite songs that could fit right into the fictional year 2120?

In particular, I'm running the old White Wolf game Trinity. So, think: psychic agents; futuristic intrigue; lasers; interstellar travel and sights; techno-utopias and dystopias; scary AND friendly(?) alien life.

What are your favorite futuristic, space opera-y, sci-fi songs and soundtracks that could help set the mood? I'd love recommendations for everything from vocal art, to primarily instrumental pieces, to anime/J-Pop, to movie soundtracks, et cetera. For example, I've collected a number of tracks from the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex soundtrack.
posted by Keter to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
You might like this space opera playlist on Spotify. (NB: It's an unordered list.)
posted by wintersweet at 10:28 AM on February 11, 2018

There’s a new release, Microshift, from the band Hookworms - all of the very cool music nerds are going crazy over it. Lots of fuzz and lasers and some pop punk and new wave and glam rock references.
So if you want the newest and coolest this is a good option.
posted by littlewater at 10:40 AM on February 11, 2018

There's a neat site called Tabletop Audio that has tons of 10 minute loops you can download, e.g. "Orbital Promenade" or "Dome City Center."
posted by theodolite at 10:49 AM on February 11, 2018

Our gaming group has adopted the practice of making a Spotify playlist for every new campaign, posting songs that remind us of the setting or our characters, or songs we think our characters would like. So if your players are on Spotify, I'd recommend setting up a playlist and adding the songs they like.

As an actual answer: The Blade Runner soundtrack by Vangelis. Some of the tracks are a old-fashioned and noir-ish, but lots of great electronic sci-fi sounding stuff.
posted by BrashTech at 11:24 AM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Deltron 3030 is a rap opera concept album set in a dystopian year 3030.
posted by General Malaise at 11:35 AM on February 11, 2018

There is a lot of synthwave that would fit the bill but Dynatron seems particular apt if you want something outer-spacey and cinematic.
posted by ropeladder at 11:39 AM on February 11, 2018

Steve Hillage plays old-school sci-fi-oriented rock music. There's also classic Hawkwind.
posted by ovvl at 12:44 PM on February 11, 2018

The Battlestar Galactica soundtracks by Bear McCreary would be great. Ultimate space opera. Very futuristic and moody stuff.

You might also like the sound of some space-y electronic music albums, which work very well as background: Calibre's Grow, or the Floating Points album Elaenia or Reflections.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 2:22 PM on February 11, 2018

Stellardrone for all your ambient, floating in space needs.
posted by lucidium at 3:09 PM on February 11, 2018

I submit the works of Makeup and Vanity Set.
posted by rodlymight at 3:15 PM on February 11, 2018

Are there any parts of the GITSAC soundtrack that you most prefer? I think it's rather wide ranging; the parts that I prefer, like "Train Search," "Stamina Rose," and "Run Rabbit Junk" fit well with industrial, drum & bass, and electronic music generally. I often think ambient music sounds spacy too. Anyway, here are some artists/albums I might choose for space adventure.

Bill Laswell, the Sacred System album series
Jega, Spectrum or Variance
Aphex Twin, Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2
Biosphere, Insomnia
Front Line Assembly, Airmech, Epitaph, Artificial Soldier
Photek, Form & Function
Robert Rich, Below Zero

I always recommend the original Neon Genesis Evangelion soundtracks for gaming music because they are wide ranging and dramatic.
posted by heatvision at 4:37 AM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite] has three different streaming "space" channels...
Deep Space One
Space Station
Sonic Universe
posted by slogger at 7:52 AM on February 12, 2018

Quindar uses old NASA recordings...and quindar tones... to make music. They are on Spotify, Youtube, etc.
posted by WeekendJen at 8:05 AM on February 12, 2018

The Fantastic Planet soundtrack is very delicious!

Also Steve Moore makes some cool synthed out sci-fi type stuff.

And ... Ash Ra Tempel can take you into outer space.
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:52 PM on February 12, 2018

Wow! Thank you all for the truly fabulous and awesome suggestions! They're all really superb, we will not be wanting for great mood music now. :)
posted by Keter at 6:23 PM on February 12, 2018

Came here to recommend Tabletop Audio, but someone already has, so I'll point out their amazing SoundPad feature that lets you create your own soundscapes from loads of elements.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:33 PM on February 14, 2018

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