Orchestrated: Electronica

This is the second post in my new series Orchestrated. Other posts in this series published so far:

Orchestrated: Hip-Hop

Nero – Symphony 2808

In 2011 British electronica group Nero made their first grand masterpiece. Although the work got dubbed as the “dubstep symphony”, the work features a big variation in genres. The work is not to be called a proper symphony, as it’s no long than 18 minutes. Despite the length Nero managed to fit alot into this piece.

Symphony 2808 was created as a part of Nero’s debut album Welcome Reality (2011). The album also featured Doomsday and Departure, that sampled the first and second movements from Harmonielehre, composed by minimalist John Adams in 1985. Welcome Reality was a sci-fi concept album, set to the year 2808.

Symphony 2808 was released as an exclusive bonus track for the iTunes edition of the album. Today you can listen to in on Apple Music or you can check out the live recording with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra here.

Daft Punk – TRON: Legacy

10 years ago TRON: Legacy was released. The movie was a follow-up to the 1982 cult hit Tron and told the story of a man getting trapped inside a computer. It is debatable how strong the Storlien of the movie is, but what is clear is that the movie featured fantastic visuals and a great original score composed by French electronic duo Daft Punk.

When asked to compose the soundtrack director Joseph Kosinkski had an idea that it could be done all electronic. It was Daft Punk that insisted on having a 84-piece orchestra. The soundtrack was groundbreaking because of how well the electronic and orchestral elements melted together. Since the duo had never worked with an orchestra before, they collaborated with Joseph Trapanese, who arranged and orchestrated the compositions.

Trapanese later composed the music to the animated series TRON: Uprising (2012-2013) and Daft Punk made use of their newly achieved experience with orchestral music on their 2013 album Random Access Memories. The TRON: Legacy score has inspired many compositions, including the Stranger Things (2016-) soundtrack. Have a listen and you’ll see what I mean.

Magnetic Man & Katy B – Perfect Stranger

In 2011 the listeners of BBC Radio 1 could experience orchestral drum’n’bass magic live. British electronica trio Magnetic Man entered the BBC Live Lounge with singer Katy B and a five-piece string section.

The studio version was released on both Magnetic Man’s self-titled album and on Katy B’s debut album On a Mission (2011). It’s great but it’s not as touching as the live version. Have a listen:

Susumu Yokota – Symbol

In 2005 Japanese composer Susumu Yokata (1961-2015) released his 17th album Symbol. The special thing about this album was that it was primarily composed of samples of classical works. On Symbol Yokata reworked works by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Camille Saint-Saëns, John Cage and Meredith Monk.

What Yokata also sampled was the painting used for the album artwork. The cover features a detail from Hylas and the Nymphs (1896) by John William Waterhouse. The painting depicts a moment from the tragic legend of Hylas. The work is on display at the Manchester Art Gallery.

My personal favorite from the album is the opening track Long Long Silk Bridge. The cut featured samples from Pas De Deux by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

All In Orchestra – World Anthem

Not much info is to be found about the unique ensemble that is All In Orchestra. What we do know is that it’s one of the most fascinating musical phenomenons to come out of Russia in recent time. The young orchestra combines acoustic and electronic elements in their original pieces. Listen to here:

Röyksopp – Röyksopp Forever

In 2009 Norwegian electonica duo Röyksopp released one of their most epic tracks, Röyksopp Forever. It featured a sample from Suites For My Lady released by Skylark in 1972.

The epicness of this track might raise the question: when will Röyksopp make their debut as film composers?

The Heritage Orchestra – The Radio 1 Ibiza Prom

In 2015 BBC Radio 1 turned the Royal Albert Hall into the world’s biggest club. The special concert came to be thanks to the Heritage Orchestra, conductor Jules Buckley BBC’s own Pete Tong. The prom opened with epic Right Here, Right Now by Fatboy Slim. You can hear that this track was made for an orchestral live performance!

The concert featured classic tracks by artists like Daft Punk, Stardust, Moby, Eric Prydz and The Shapeshifters. If you wanna watch the full thing, click here.

The Shapeshifters – Lola’s Theme

What might be one of the greatest house tracks of all time is built upon a orchestral loop. Released in 2004, Lola’s Theme peaked at numerous charts and even became the most successful club hit in Australia that year. The song sampled What About My Love by Johnnie Taylor and featured lyrics from Love Me Tonight by Anthony White.

Does the track sound familiar? You might have heard it in the video game Grand Theft Auto.

For 17 years Ed Banger Records has been an important force in the French electronic music scene. The label was founded in 2003 by former Daft Punk manager Pedro Winter aka Busy P. The label have released works by artists such as Justice, Uffie, Breakbot and SebastiAn.

The celebrate the labels 15th Anniversary the live album Ed Banger 15 ans was released in 2018. Und there direction of arranger and conductor Thomas Roussel, the 70 piece symphony ensemble Orchestre Lamoureux performed brand new versions of the label’s classic tracks. One of them was Pocket Piano by DJ Mehdi. The legendary producer died tragically in 2011, aged 34. For the fans of DJ Mehdi this performance, fronted by pianist Gael Rakotondrabe serves as a moving tribute to the late house wizard.

Wanna compare the two versions? Listen to the original here.

Ymes Tutor – Noid

In 2018 experimental electronica producer Ymes Tutor released Noid as a single for his third studio album Safe In The Hands of Love. The track is catchy yet it deals with a serious subject matter. Noid contains samples of Grace, written by Ronnie Laws and Roxanne J. Seeman and recorded by Sylvia St. James. In the lyrics Tutor addresses racism. This powerful track is sadly still intensly relevant.

M83 – Oblivion

After his collaboration with Daft Punk on TRON: Legacy, director Joseph Kosinski reached out to M83. He wanted to hear if the French electronica-dream pop group could provide an original soundtrack for his second feature film Oblivion (2013). M83 frontman Anthony Gonzales said yes and went on to compose the score together with Daft Punk collaborator Joseph Trapanese.

The vocals for the title track were provided by the Norwegian artist Susanne Sundfør. To promote the soundtrack album M83 made an epic performance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

Playlist

Still not satisfied? Check out the playlist below!

Orchestrated

Hip-Hop • Electronica

Published by Edvard Granum Dillner

Edvard Granum Dillner (b. 1997) is a writer, musician and multi-artist. Dillner contributes to art and music publications Subjekt, Paragone and beehype.

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