Electronic music has been no stranger to Hollywood.
Featured films like Blade, Blade Runner, and Hackers (which has its own remix album, including a submission from Carl Cox) all had music heavily influenced by EDM. During the EDM generation (EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music, the primary moniker for the genre’s explosion in the early 2010s), music already famous on other continents became rapidly beloved in the U.S.
We won’t begin to cover that expansive topic just yet. Instead, we’re going to look at the more recent additions to this growing list.
You might know a lot of these musicians already, but you probably didn't know they worked on these movies.
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Skrillex defined ‘Brostep,’ according to most, and has already made a large footprint in film. Although he didn’t create the entire score for Wreck-It Ralph, he did write and produce an original track for the film called “Bug Hunt,” which he recruited legendary bass artist Noisia to help with. Why do some people have all the fun?
Now onto Skrillex’s main course. The California native took on the entire Spring Breakers soundtrack, which landed a 7.6/10 from the often-critical music publication Pitchfork. The album included 19 songs, many of which Cliff Martinez (who you’ll read about below) co-authored. If we had to pick one to play on repeat, it’s undoubtedly “With You, Friends (Long Drive).”
In addition to helping Skrillex with Spring Breakers, Cliff Martinez was responsible for the ‘80s synth beauty featured in Drive. Nicolas Winding Refn’s film has amassed a cult following over the years. But many would say the soundtrack itself has a cult following as well.
Attack the Block
One of the less familiar titles on this list, Attack the Block, is a British sci-fi film co-produced by Nira Park (Shaun of the Dead). Little did we know, the entire soundtrack was produced by the British bass duo Basement Jaxx.
Director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) specifically chose M83 for this 2013 action film staring Tom Cruise. “M83’s music I felt was fresh and original, and big and epic, but at the same time emotional and this is a very emotional film and it felt like a good fit,” Kosinski said in a 2012 interview with Collider.
We would have lost trivia night if this was a question. Progressive house musician Paul Oakenfold is known internationally for his prowess playing in the club and also playing in the studio. But did you know he also produced the entire soundtrack for Swordfish?
The list of eye-opening EDM artists that scored movies continues with this one. For the 2011 action thriller Hanna, director Joe Wright tapped iconic duo The Chemical Brothers to produce the film’s music.
You knew you would see Daft Punk on this list, but you probably didn’t expect it to be this.
Interstella 5555 is an animated Japanese-French adventure film produced by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (the men behind the Daft Punk masks). The "animated House musical" is a realization of the duo's album "Discovery" — the abduction and rescue of an interstellar pop band.
Tron: Legacy set an epic tone when filmmakers got Daft Punk to produce the soundtrack. The album was so visionary that it even followed up with a remix album, Tron: Legacy Reconfigured. It included remixes of the soundtrack’s pieces from a few names you might recognize: Moby, Kaskade, Pretty Lights, and Avicii—just to name a few.