Since officially inheriting the Earth in 1998, the nerds of the world have wanted only one thing: a remake of Tron. Now that glorious dawn is upon us, and, lo, the nerd-dollar is being ruthlessly exploited. Besides the replica lightcycles, iPod dock and the Oakley 3D specs, the tie-in that’s had the internet all a-twitter has been Daft Punk’s original soundtrack. Expectations for this have been sky high; after all, such an AV nerdgasm is surely a dream fit for the studio-loving duo who saw in the new millennium playing table tennis at a Paris house party.
The good news is, it sounds fabulously Trontastic. The reference points are suitably retro-futurist, from the apparent nod to Jean Michel Jarre’s ‘Oxygene’ in ‘The Grid’ to the resemblance of ‘Son of Flynn’ to the work of punchcard-age synth pioneer Raymond Scott. It’s also impeccably produced – the lustrous drum sound of ‘The Game Has Changed’, for example, would make a great tester track for your next stereo-purchasing expedition.
However, anyone expecting to get a bonus Daft Punk album from Tronmania will be disappointed. This is ultimately a collection of incidental music with little in the way of structure and nothing in the way of tunes. You can almost hear David Attenborough narrating passages about migrating herons over much of it. As a soundtrack, it’s probably excellent (although, having not seen the film, we can’t vouch for its cinematic efficacy). As a stand-alone record, which it was clearly never intended to be, it’s unlikely to hold your attention. Still, we can’t wait to see what they’re going to do for Electric Dreams 2: Quantum Boogaloo.