blade runner - bar dub

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interruptor
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blade runner - bar dub

Post by interruptor » Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:51 pm

The other night I watched "Blade Runner" the science fiction flick from 1982. To my suprise there was a dub track (during the scene in Taffey Lewis' Club) which sounds very different from the rest of the Vangelis sound track. I tried to figure out who produced that tune but couldn't find any credits.
I even found a german review of the 3-CD movie sound track where the reviewer complains about that particular tune missing.

Due to the prominent syndrum percussion the sound reminds me of the Dennis Bovell sound track to Babylon which was filmed around the same year. The oriental horn melody somehow evokes Augustus Pablo's melodica lines in his far east style.

Does anybody know who recorded this tune?

Hear the clip below..
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Post by Dub Attack Force » Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:45 pm

Wow, that brings back memories of the movie clearly! I remember this little tune distinctly - it captured my curiousity at the time (although I didn't think of it as a dub tune). Unfortunately I don't know the composer.. However it does sound like an eastern melody (eastern as in Middle Eastern or Arabian). To my ears the tuning is clearly non-standard, and it's a ney or a very convincing synthesis of a ney playing to a synthetic tom.

Blade Runner was a cult classic of the sci-fi genre. There is a lot to mull over in this very carefully considered and constructed movie, so the choice of music in this scene is not accidental. To me it suggests something of the unwholesome condition of the untermensch masses in the brave new futuristic world in which the movie is set. A legacy music, suggesting 'ethnicity' - cutting-edge poverty in the great unwashed proletariat who are excluded from the high-tech high-rise flats and workplaces, and the flying cars. The tune also plays In the excellent PC video game 'Blade Runner', when you wander around the urban district marketplace. Something to indicate the degeneration, reduction and cheapening of a past ancient and advanced civilisation to a mere trivial commodity to fill the modernistic, consumerist spiritual void.

Interestingly enough, in the computer game adaptation of this movie when you go through the district where this particular background tune is playing there is a 'Jamaican' shop in this shopping district, which sells real dairy cheese (an illegal product and an analogy for weed). This shop is integral to the game. Again, something that indicates to me a strong critique of the hypocrisy inherent in the laws of modern society, and its cultural norms, and the desperation and hopeless quest for the exotic that becomes an aspect of the human condition in the futuristic techno-urban landscape.

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Post by interruptor » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:28 pm

Interesting thoughts..
While reading about the movie on the web I found a comment from a person who thought the deeper meaning of the movie is that once machines will have advanced so far that they even develop feelings we will have to grant them the human rights. Now that's a twisted idea! Happily I am really sure we will never get to that point! :dubout4:

By the way if you still have the CD-ROM of the PC game you may be able to extract the soundfile of the dub tune from it!

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Post by Dub Attack Force » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:36 pm

Unfortunately I no longer have the game. I think the movie had more to do with the dehumanising effect of technology, and life in the modern technological world. The world in which Blade Runner is set is lonely, and is obsessed with the appearance of being other than what it is. The example of the androids engineered to resemble humans in every way is the most obvious, but other details such as the artificial pets (e.g. toy snakes for the 'petting' by lonely inhabitants of this brave new world) and the personality testing machine operated by the main character, with its set of programmed conditioned response parameters (to test whether a person is an artificial 'life' form) also point towards this theme.

The movie asks difficult questions about the role of the outmoded in our society. What happens to the old stuff? If we can use it for dubbing we'll keep it, otherwise it gets thrown out on to the skip :). The game like the movie follows this theme faithfully, depicting a fan of old technologies (such as wind-up dolls and black-and-white movies) as eccentric to the point of being first under suspicion and then an actual terrorist threat that the main character has to deal with and approach with guns drawn.

In both the movie and the game, a parallel theme is the effect of the passage of time on otherwise useful technologies. The mega-corporation that runs the city also built the androids with a 5-year failsafe, so they would simply expire after this time. Built-in obsolescense, just like a new Dell laptop. The advantage of this to the corporation is that the consumers are forced to keep buying the newer models.

So I don't think the movie deals with the idea of giving 'rights' to computers and other devices. In the Blade Runner universe humans appear to have the right be consumers, and little else.

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