We can all agree that Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is one of the most landmark, if not greatest, sci-fi film of all time. The unflinching analysis of humanity, the gritty mise-en-scene, Harrison Ford being, well, Harrison Ford, just a lot grumpier and in a trench coat. Yet one thing that can be overlooked by the casual movie goer is the film’s score. Holy shit, Vangelis did a number on that bad boy. It brought together the Tyrell Corporation’s false notions of godhood with the tragedy of Roy Batty and his Replicant comrades.
A masterpiece undoubtedly. And while purists (yours truly included) may cringe at the idea of a sequel or (gasp!) reboot, this is 21st century Hollywood we’re talking about and it’s going to happen regardless of how many nerd tears are shed. So please, proverbial man in suit and tie snorting cocaine off unread screenplays, we implore you, if you’re going to get one thing right let it be the music. We submit for your consideration Flux, the latest EP from electronic wizard espher.
If we must have a new Blade Runner then here is the new Vangelis. Melbourne’s espher on Flux proves his worth as a sophisticated electronic musician.
espher has been making and mixing beats for two years now, the Melbourne native not one to let time fly past him with four EP’s and numerous remixes and mixtapes under his belt. Talk about prolific. Bear in mind when we say espher is an electronic musician we don’t mean that droning David Guetta shit your mum likes to listen to on the radio. This is real electronica. espher uses his superior compositional and production skills to weave a rich tapestry of synths and beats. EP number five, Flux, is his latest and doesn’t disappoint.
Let’s make one thing clear first, there’s no guy on the track imploring anyone to drink until midnight. Nope, in place of shallow vocal hooks we’re treated to a soundscape rich with flavour. If there must be a Blade Runner 2.0 (Blade Runner: Replicant’s Revenge?) then it will need an electronic score to suit the times. While Vangelis’ was great, it was very much a product of its time. Flux is sleek and punchy, whilst still maintaining a brooding aesthetic that remains the underlying core of the EP.
The different synths and keys across all three tracks create an air of anxiety, the way espher layers and then loops them gives it a heavy feel. They can remain cool in nature, each track a slow burn that each tells a subtle narrative. What each are we can’t say, it’s up to each listener to decide. There’s no definite story laid out, but the themes of hope, fear, ambition and loneliness are all there, it’s just up to you to choose where the narrative goes.
Before things get too fluffy let’s end this by saying Flux is a great EP, a superb collection of three tracks that any schooled or novice fan of electronic music will enjoy.