Part of an ongoing series about Darknet's music, direct from the composer.
This post will focus specifically on the non-videogame-related influences that have helped me shape the sound of Darknet’s music. I grew up loving any and all cheesy cyberpunk movies I came across (Johnny Mnemonic is my personal favorite) and their impact on my music is inevitable. However, I wanted to talk about some specific influences that I consciously try to work into the soundtrack to make it special.
Three particular artists that have served as my personal guiding spirits are Paul van Dyk, Boards of Canada, and Timbaland. Paul van Dyk’s classic trance sound is both what I want and don’t want Darknet to sound like. By disrupting my take on trance music in the way that Boards of Canada disrupts their take on techno, I’m able to achieve a post-trance sound. The modernity that Timbaland-inspired rhythms and sample choice brings further separates my tracks from a typical cyberpunk sound while still sounding highly technical.
Okay this next one’s a little out there, but hear me out. A year ago, I began taking programming classes. While working on my assignments and banging my head against my own busted code, I acquired a deep appreciation for Pandora’s Slow Jam station (http://www.pandora.com/station/fe88799e4a64de0b101b54801e9512cdb97ed3911a09639d). There’s something about the patterns and samples, specifically from 90s R&B, that just perfectly interlocks with lines of code for me. For Darknet, I’ve taken cues from its crisp and cool aesthetic to help shape the world.
Lastly, one of my biggest influences has been my love for the tabletop game Android: Netrunner (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/124742/android-netrunner). Ever since I started playing Netrunner, I’ve always imagined a particular soundscape in my head to match the play. The asymmetrical nature of the game yields two distinct vibes for me. For the runner, a geometric darkness broken up by glowing lines. For the corporation, cold urban skylines disrupted and distorted. Both of these concepts have fed heavily into what I’ve wanted Darknet’s soundtrack to evoke.
Before closing, below I’ve placed links to record labels that have inspired me to discover my intended sound. I’ve also included a Spotify playlist that I put together featuring some pertinent albums and tracks by several artists.