Epic game No Man's Sky is moving so slowly towards its release date that its soundtrack is coming out before it. The RPG is part space opera, part galactic filibuster, offering an endlessly generative online universe for you to travel around -- in which the designers have claimed you will never meet a fellow traveller. Supplying the soundtrack to this infinite labour of love? 65daysofstatic, of course. The Sheffield post-rockers used new programmes to create a supplementary generative soundtrack for the game, and while it'll be a while 'til we'll be able to hear every inch of it (maybe we never will), the official soundtrack offers ten original tracks from the score, plus six of the game's soundscapes. It's just like the old saying goes: in space... there are post-rock bands.
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- No Man's Sky: Music For An Infinite Universe by 65daysofstatic
For those of you who have made the wise decision to not invest your time and money into the hobby called “video games”, No Man’s Sky is a game about exploring space. About freedom. About the feeling of the expanse. It’s a game in which you pilot a one man ship through a universe populated by 18 quintillion procedurally generated planets. I just looked it up, one quintillion is a 1 follow by 18 zeros. That's a lot of zeros.
So who do you ask to soundtrack something so immense there is a likelihood close to 1 that there are planets no one will ever see? British post-rock scene survivors 65daysofstatic it turns out. It makes a lot of sense, at a very simplistic level there’s always been something sci-fi about the lads from Sheffield. Their blend of electronics with post-rock gives their music a technological urgency that sounds like progress itself. They’re also a band that play in broad strokes, in bold colours and sounds. When they tap into emotion it’s rarely… subtle. And this suits the game well. Almost none of the moments in the game were specifically authored, more interesting in aiming for something vague and suggestive.
This is best shown by the fact that almost all the songs here start quiet and sparse, and end busy and loud. It’s an easy way to imply a journey, a way to give the feeling of moving between planets something of a narrative. Because of this the songs can feel a bit taxing when heard back to back, but individually there’s no denying how effective they can be.
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