S U R V I V E ‎– RR7349


It is almost impossible to separate S U R V I V E from the Netflix series Stranger Things nowadays, such is the perfect intertwining of the music with the visuals in both atmosphere and period. This album, recorded in 2015 and released in 2016, has the sense of the soundtrack as it too is built with period analog synths, but it is definitely a cohesive whole rather than collected pieces written for the scenes it played alongside.

I would find it impossible to get to the end of this without mentioning Tangerine Dream, which is clearly true as I just did. I’ve listened to Tangerine Dream, the earlier stuff, a lot, and I can hear them in this album and in much of the S U R V I V E catalogue, be it there intentionally or not.

These are no creators of pastiche though, this is original music that I find to be eminently listenable and, put quite simply, I have become a bit of a fan, having three of their releases as well as the 3 Stranger Things Soundtracks.

S U R V I V E are Michael Stein, Kyle Dixon, Adam Jones and Mark Donica and were formed in 2009 in Austin, Texas. It was Dixon and Stein who composed the musical score for Stranger Things rather than the band. As a band the quartet have been producing synth-heavy, horror-score-influenced compositions for almost a decade, via drum machines and analog synths.

Tracklist

A1 A.H.B 4:25
A2 Other 3:43
A3 Dirt 5:06
A4 High Rise 3:59
A5 Wardenclyffe 4:08
B1 Sorceror 4:39
B2 Low Fog 4:40
B3 Copter 6:36
B4 Cutthroat 4:02

Here, for your listening and viewing pleasure, is a 54 minute live set:

 

Setlist: Floating Cube 1:58 Hourglass 6:27 Omniverse 11:48 Sorcerer 17:15 Parousia 21:45 Copter 25:05 Cutthroat 30:48 Wardenclyffe 35:25 Black Mollies A.H.B 42:15 Holographic Landscape 47:00

Rating: 9.0

S U R V I V E ‎– HD015

Survive (often with capital letters and spaces as S U R V I V E) is an electronic band consisting of Michael Stein, Kyle Dixon, Adam Jones and Mark Donica. They were formed in 2009 in Austin, Texas and have been producing synth-heavy, horror-score-influenced compositions for almost a decade, exploring these themes through drum machines and analog synths across various single, EP and LP releases and contributions to soundtracks such as acclaimed indie horror film The Guest.

You may recognise a couple of the members, Dixon and Stein composed the original score for the 2016 Netflix series Stranger Things. Now I have to provide full disclosure here, I love Stranger Things, so much so that I did buy both volumes of the soundtrack in interesting coloured vinyl editions and have played them quite a bit.

This album, HD015, actually appears to be their 2012 self titled release (also known as Mnq026) but , because it is a red vinyl edition, it has a different name. I’ve no idea why but it does. It is limited to 1,500 copies on 150g vinyl, so maybe decoding that gives the title.

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It is an atmospheric album, creepy even in places, and I can see why they would be involved in a 1980’s related science-fi horror TV series, if you knew of them already then the tracks here would lend themselves to it really well. Perhaps part of the reason for this is the instruments used, MicroKORG, SH-101, ARP Odyssey, Elektron Analog Keys and Prophet-6, rather than VST instruments on a laptop.

Clown Warning! Clown Warning! So I find clowns really very creepy but there is either a video of ‘Floating Cube’ with a static image, or one somebody has made containing killer clowns, I went with the latter, even though watching it creeps me out, you’ve been warned:

Tracklist

I
A1 Deserted Skies 5:36
A2 Floating Cube 4:21
A3 To Light Alone I Bow 2:28
A4 Hourglass 4:31
A5 Omniverse 4:36
II
B1 Black Mollies 6:04
B2 Scalar Wave 4:46
B3 Shunting Yard 4:56
B4 Dirge 7:14

I have a pre-disposition to this type of music so I will be giving it an 8.3 but I do recognise that it is not for everybody.

As a bonus, here they are live this year:

And here is the set list:

Floating Cube 1:58
Hourglass 6:27
Omniverse 11:48
Sorcerer 17:15
Parousia 21:45
Copter 25:05
Cutthroat 30:48
Wardenclyffe 35:25
Black Mollies A.H.B 42:15
Holographic Landscape 47:00

I spoil you people!