I love synthesizers. In that respect, I have an ambiguous feeling towards the whole hipster infatuation with synth, because I liked synth (in Joy Division, New Order, Kraftwerk, Gary Numan, etc.) ever since I started listening to music seriously, and now everyone seems to love synth these days. But anyway. In addition to synth, I also like science fiction, in particular old science fiction movies. And these two happen to have a good relationship: the often eerie sounds of old synthesizers resonate perfectly with (retro-) futuristic images of sci fi. The most blatantly perfect example of this is of course the incredible opening scene of Blade Runner (1982), with Vangelis’ piercing synths, but a more peaceful example is Brian Eno’s fantastic 1983 album Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, which is a synth-heavy atmospheric soundtrack to a documentary about the moon landings.
A long introduction to the Irish group Solar Bears, who on their 2010 album She Was Coloured In re-create the soundscapes of old science fiction movies. With a lot of synth, of course. The video clips are often taken from classics of Stanley Kubrick, Soviet director Andrei Tarkovsky (Solaris (1972), Stalker (1979)) and more obscure movies, and go very naturally with the retro-futuristic ambient synthesizer sound of Solar Bears. Although I have to say it’s not always very original – it’s like a direct appropriation of these old sounds, rather than a new take on it – I’m not gonna complain. Because this combines two of the greatest things in life: synthesizers and old science fiction!
So here’s a couple of the best clips, and more after the jump. Enjoy!
Solarization (set to Tarkovsky’s Solaris):
Perpetual Meadow (set to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain (1973)):
Quiet Planet (set to Planet of the Apes (1968):