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teevee Soundtrack to Expedition

Soundtrack to Expedition
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Soundtrack to Expedition is a soundtrack by teevee, aka Maryland-based musician Dylan Hyman, to a failed space-situated exploration survival game which was developed, and later scrapped, by Red Fox Game Studios.

Genealogically it sits somewhere in-between records released by 65daysofstatic and the production duo of Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury. The former is the soundtrack to the somewhat downplayed titan of open-world space exploration game, No Man's Sky, composed by the Sheffield quartet.

Soundtrack to Expedition being released via tape-only label Utility Tapes is fitting

The latter is Drokk: Music Inspired by Mega-City One, a soundtrack produced for the Karl Urban iteration of the Judge Dredd film, but ultimately dropped. The music was released as a standalone artefact in 2012. The comparisons can also be felt through this release as it weaves the cinematic and the synthetic, pushing the hauntological elements of the vaporwave genre to the forefront.

Opening tracks 'Shop' and 'Travel' are lo-fi pieces which are reminiscent of other game soundtracks, most notably Hotline Miami, a hyper-violent 16-bit shoot 'em up released in 2012. Third and fourth tracks 'Desert Winds' and 'Abandoned Mines' echo the geography and narrative of the game, evoking the barren nature of a desert planet with rolling drones and understated glitches throughout.

The final two tracks on the album make a return to the rhythmic lo-fi elements of the release's opening movement, with some evolutionary embellishments like the piano lead opening in 'Main Menu', showing Hyman has an ear for both repetition and progression.

This album, which marks a departure from teevee's normally psych-tinged rock, can be seen as a progression of their love for the sounds of nostalgia and youth. Soundtrack to Expedition being released via tape-only label Utility Tapes is fitting, and it only adds to the artefact-like nature of a project that could have been.

Nick Kilby

Pre-order a cassette of Soundtrack to Expedition from Utility Tapes.