Meet new synth-wave duo This Week In The Universe, and their essential guide to 80s OSTs
And tuck into their debut, self-titled album.
Synth wave duo This Week in the Universe have just released their debut, self-titled album, one that is heavily influenced by 80s film soundtracks and 70s prog-rock built from an extensive collection of vintage synthesizers and an astrological imagination. To mark the single and album's release, we asked them for some essential 80s composers and soundtracks to give you a better idea of their influences, so tuck into the whole lot below and entrench yourself in the wonderfully fantastical world of This Week In The Universe, below:
John Carpenter (director/writer/composer)
He’s the ultimate 80s sci fi, horror and movie soundtrack guy. There’s very few directors who also write the film and its score. The music and general apocalyptic tone from his early movies was hugely influential for a lot of bands, us included. They Live (1988) is a super creepy movie and a personal favourite of ours, and Escape from New York (1981) is arguably his most iconic soundtrack, with the Sequential circuits Prophet 5 synthesizer featured heavily. We used its successor, the Prophet 08 on a big chunk of our record.
ELP – Tarkus (1971)
While this isn't from the 80s, the keyboard sounds Emerson, Lake and Palmer were using were way ahead of their time. We were both massive progressive rock fans as teenagers, and for keys players, Keith Emerson was truly a synth giant, a virtuoso and one to really pioneer the Moog synth. His giant Modular Moog and spinning grand piano were also an amazingly badass part of their live set at the time.
Transformers: The Animated Movie (1986)
A childhood staple for pretty much anyone in our generation, in recent years music fans have rediscovered Vince Dicolas banging super prog soundtrack. We love the use of big cutting synths and industrial drums in this score, really fits those robots doing robot stuff perfectly. The music from this record really stayed with us since we saw it as kids. We actually looked up a bunch of synths he used on this soundtrack to get some of that dynamite 80s vibe (a Jupiter 8 and a great Oberheim OB-X soft-synth) which we used throughout the record.
Vangelis’ Blade Runner score (1982)
A lot of this score is just huge reverby synth pads and ambient leads which is super 80s and captures the retro-futuristic tone of the movie perfectly. That synth brass patch from the main theme is kind of awful but cool at the same time – it’s become iconic. The mix of synths and drum machines with orchestrated live elements like timpani, glockenspiel and tubular bells is really unique.
Prince – Batman album (1989)
We’re huge Prince fans and interestingly Partyman was the first Prince song Beau ever heard, since seeing it in the original Batman movie when the Joker graffitis all that fancy artwork in Gotham museum. If you haven’t heard it, this is exactly how you’d imagine Prince would approach making a soundtrack, weird and cool.