Electronic music and film


there’s something special and tactile experiencing a well executed club scene as it appears in film. the way the sound mix has been tailored to carve out a space for the track to sit in, usually drenched in reverb and throbbing against an onset of strobing visuals. obviously it doesn’t compare to actually being out and having your ears destroyed :p, live sound is always exciting but this can capture the feeling. as i’ve attended a film festival the last few years and seen quite a few films, a lot of them being art-house and/or experimental works that toy with their medium; i’ve been naturally curious and drawn to how electronic music can be used as a tool in the director’s favour. an early example would be Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting:

try to see through the shit upload quality if you can. this iconic scene comes later after the devastating moment where Spud finds his mate’s baby has died. the Underworld Dark Train kick starts thumping in the background feeding the feeling or urgency, anxiety and the need for a sustained high. it’s also playful and dare i say adds a sense of fun. i find it to be a great example of how a dance track can lift a scene, it’s a character in itself.

to add some more examples from some more contemporary of-the moment films i’ll add this opening scene from Victoria 2015 – i was sitting with my mate ready for this film and then my favourite DJ Koze track starts echoing throughout the theatre rumbling my seat as the opening credits crawl. let me tell you i was grinning ear to ear, my mate none the wiser. the track plays for a hefty length too which not only gave a sense of settling into the films rhythm but also a sense of the director in no rush to tell his story – the entire film is in one take. i highly recommend it, here’s the scene in which the film finds its protagonist in the club:

another great example of electronic music used in film is last year’s Climax by Gaspar Noé. unfortunately i can’t find my favourite scene on youtube so this one will have to do:

it just hit bluray so check it out.

i’ll post more examples and type more soon, need2 sleep


also forgot to add Goblin in all of those Giallo’s and italian flix throughout the 70’ 80’s + John Carpenter and his synths were special. and how about this one

synthy western. that’s the actual soundtrack, beautifully shot film too by Robert M. Young


My favourite thing (and often most hated) is the old classic: music playing during sci-fi film club scene. It’s always a good indicator of current tastes and I usually feel it’s often very wrong. There are very few, especially Hollywood, sci-fi movies that have good club music. It’s always the cheesiest stuff.

On the other end of the spectrum, I was really surprised to hear a Burial track in… a Terrence Malick film?!


I wonder what the worst example of a clubbing scene is a film?

The matrix rave comes to mind.



so many club scenes in films look like some s&m party with death metal dance music playing like that’s what the kids been doing fro the last 25 years


i was looking at this a while ago actually

and other then thinking about how much watchmojo lists are getting people into films now (both good and bad), im thinking about the whole film subgenre that seemed to come out in the era that some how film critics have yet to rlly retrospect about, which ill just call Y2K Rave Cinema. these were mostly british drama films like Human Traffic, 24 Hour Party People, Its All Gone Pete Tong (probs the last of the movement), altho not all of these films were british (like the american films Groove and Go) or dramas (like Kevin & Perry Go Large, the best film ever made :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:). regardless of place and genre they all had strong themes in the communal aspects of rave culture and a positive outlook on his combination of hedonism and social horizontalism, ironic considering that a lot of this started in the wake of the critical appraisal of Trainspotting, a film p negative about hedonism and escapism that got lumped in with the rest cuz it had that one scene in a club with that digweed song and the casual transphobia :nauseated_face:

no wonder trainspotting was considered a catalyst for britpop oversaturation, in retrospect it was p uncritical of the political establishment that kinda caused drug addicts and shut down raves and arrested ravers (complete opposite of of human traffic). this comment on the youtube upload of the bedroom scene has me thinking deeply

then again, human traffic has not aged well either with its offer of resistance to neoliberal hell is lifestylist escape, which in our current even worse and even more inequal economy now is kinda impossible to sustain long term. kinda wish justin kerrigan read some kropotkin and fisher, would have made the film a bit better. but i digress

we did have a sort a new version of the Y2K Rave Cinema a few years ago too in america. during the edm bubble and shortly after the semi-pop of it. Project X, We Are Your Friends, XOYO. it sucked. obv

but now we are getting indie films now who actually are doing great work with using electronic music in politically charged contemporay film, 120 BPM & A Fantastic Woman being two of the most obv. i dont think its a coincidence that these works have p obv queer overtones :blush:

anyway i cant think anything about rave scenes in film that like, idk, i can personally remember liking right now. tbh the only film in this whole rant that ive actually seen in full is transpotting :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: but i guess i know at least of one rave scene in a fictional tv show that helped shape my love of dance music for my entire life, around age 4:


im coming back after watching the whole matrix trilogy (+ the animatrix) for the first time (i have only seen the original for years) and not only is it probs the best trilogy of hollywood blockbusters ever made (if not the best trilogy of films ever made in all of cinema) but that the zion rave / neo-trinity sex scene in reloaded fucking kicks ass.

had no idea it was fluke who made that tune either. the deep prog house sound of 99-03 still sounds like the coolest shit ever to me


great choices in this thread :grin:
heres a fav, short but sweet

yeah Moby, ugh… but this is brilliant

the hardstyle scene if youve watched Heaven Knows What


A few favorites :smiley: