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Zebra Lazarus

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The reinvigoration of using synths in film, TV and game scores that has grown over the last couple of decades has brought the worlds of film soundtracks and electronic music ever closer. Every composer now has a wealth of synths in their studio, be it classic analogue gear or the latest VST. Electronic artists and producers are increasingly commonly being invited to score films and games.

And whilst, in my humble opinion, the more popular side of dance music has stagnated over the last few years, the integration of electronic music into soundtracks has provided some great new music.

One of my favourite recent examples of this crossover is the Deus Ex Human Revolution soundtrack by Michael McCann. It’s a hugely atmospheric, cinematic soundscape; but at its heart, and what makes it so unique, is a collection of pulsing synth arpeggios and sequences. They have a feel to them that is very reminiscent of trance music.

Another recent game soundtrack that has elements of trance about it is Petri Alanko‘s Quantum Break. Petri has a track record of making trance remixes of classical music and film scores, so is well versed in the world of detuned super saws.

I really wanted to make a soundset that captured this vibe, something that was very synthy and analogue in style, but a modern interpretation of it, rather than the old skool analogue sound. I guess it’s more inspired by the virtual analogue era of the Access Virus, Roland JP8000 and Clavia Nord Lead.

As well as listening to Deus Ex and Quantum Break, I also spent time with both Mirror’s Edge scores by electronic artist, Solar Fields. It has a more ambient and playful feel to it than the others, providing inspiration for some lighter sounds.

Finally, to provide a more cinematic approach, I listened to some classic 00s soundtracks from Media Ventures/Remote Control composers such as Harry Gregson-Williams, Hans Zimmer and John Powell. Scores such as Deja Vu, Man On Fire, Blackhawk Down and The Bourne Identity were part of the renaissance in getting electronic sounds back into modern film scoring (I remember the word “techno” being often used erroneously to describe the music!).

This range of influences means that this is a truly versatile soundset, ranging from ambient minimalism right up to pounding, epic, Hollywood action.

As is so often the case with me, I got extraordinarily carried away and made far too many sounds. This resulted in Zebra Lazarus coming in two volumes, both of which got the Dark Edition/Zebra HZ treatment. A total of 800 patches. I know… I know…

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