The music to No Man’s Sky: Music for an Infinite Universe has been something I’ve been excited for since it made my Top 10 Most Anticipated Soundtracks Post E3 2015. 65daysofstatic has been teasing us leading up to the release of their album by sharing tracks “Supermoon” and “Red Parallax” fairly early on.
They have also provided insight into how they created the soundtrack in an article on Kill Screen “The Making of the No Man’s Sky Soundtrack” where they talked about using a variety of techniques including isolation, fancy microphones, a grand piano, and lots of wine. The result in my opinion is an exceptional video game soundtrack that can be enjoyed in your own universe outside of the video game. Read on to hear my thoughts on the album, and my suggestions on how to listen to it.
The No Man’s Sky soundtrack is presented in two parts. The first part being 10 original songs, and the second being six suites of arranged music and atmospheric ambient sounds. For my first listen through the soundtrack I started with disc 2, and the reason was that I had a feeling that this disc would give me a sense of the in game environments, and music you’d hear on a regular inside your spaceship or exploring a new star system. Whereas I assume that the songs would play during star travel, battles, and at key game moments in the story.
The second disc opens with “NMS_exteriorAtmos1/False Suns” which immediately filled me with a sense of wonderment. The distant choral vocals create a sense of breathing, and I imagined that I was seeing the night sky come to life as I began to be bombarded with the sounds of radio waves coming from a distant galaxy. The wonderment eventually dials down to a more serious rapid tone with some high-pitched tones and drumbeat which evoked for me, images of sitting in a ship with its rocket engine engaged.
Majesty of sound returns in opening of “Tomorrow/Lull/Celestial Feedback” and instead of breathing there is a heartbeat which is exciting and for me is border lining on triggering a fight or flight response.
In the tracks to come on disc two you’ll encounter sounds that to me sound celestial. I heard things like shortwave radio, the sounds of pulsars and other forms of noise. The really cool thing for me is that this music took me back sonically to some of my favorite Science Fiction films. Although the music and soundscapes are not the same there are great sonic moments in this soundtrack similar to Event Horizon, and John Murphy’s great score to Sunshine.
The ending track “Outlier/ETOWS/Variation1” is one of my personal favorites on the album. Throughout there is frequent use of piano, which is emotionally charged and melodic. At about 4 minutes in the piano variation reminded me of a track titled “The Fall” by Daft Punk, in Tron Legacy where a similar melody is played by strings. The piano blends well with various electronic sounds and very warm sounding strings. The overall feeling I have at the end of the track is sense of hope and that anything is possible. In a game described as an infinite universe, there couldn’t be a better track.
So if you haven’t listened to the No Man’s Sky soundtrack yet, I highly recommend starting with disc two. All of the songs on disc one are great, but if you want to truly experience a new sonic world disc two will take you there. Disc one is simply icing on the cake, or if you were Galactus, sweet polar caps on a continent.
The soundtrack to No Man’s Sky is available now from Laced Records digitally, on CD and LP. 65daysofstatic is also going on a No Man’s Sky Tour where you can hear the soundtrack live, you can read about that here.
What do you think of the soundtrack to No Man’s Sky?Tags: 65daysofstatic, Features, Game Sounstrack, Hello Games, No Man's Sky Original Soundtrack, PlayStation 4, Reviews