It’s funny that, considering how influential and important the Blade Runner film was to me throughout my life, I first discovered it through music. I’m fairly certain I had seen the film prior. But as I would have been a young child at the time, it was likely the TV-edit. Also, aside from the amazing visuals, I probably didn’t understand the true depth of what I was seeing.
However as a teenager exploring the world of electronic music first through industrial and then through other styles, I was exposed to the world of Blade Runner without even realizing it. For a period of time ranging from the mid-80s through the mid-90s, and even after that up to today, I’ve heard countless samples in music from Blade Runner dialogue.
It’s easy to see why electronic music producers would be drawn to the film. Firstly, Vangelis’ incredible soundtrack for the film is itself an electronic masterpiece, influencing generations of electronic musicians. But it’s dystopian society, monolithic cityscapes, flawed and conflicted human characters, and it’s underlying, subtextual moral lessons are a perfect fit for technological sounds of electronic music.
Appropriately then, Mixmag has compiled a list of 20 fantastic tracks in the realm of dance music that have sampled the film. There are quite a number of interesting tracks on this list, some of which I was already very familiar with but many which are completely new to me.
Across this list is a wide range of electronic styles, including everything from drum n’ bass, tech-step, and dubstep to ambient, techno, and even grime. And release dates that range from the 90s to the 20-teens.
It’s an interesting list full of diverse artists. So if you want to dive into the world of Blade Runner beyond the film via danceable electronic music, check out the list which includes videos featuring each track.