65 Days of Static rise up the charts with No Man’s Sky soundtrack

65daysofstatic from left to right, Rob Jones, Joe Shrewsbury, Simon Wright and Paul Wolinski (Picture: Danny Payne)

Tue, 23 Aug 2016 15:31:00 BST

University of Huddersfield PHD Student Paul Wolinski, part of the 65 days of static quartet, has been working with the science fiction video game creators, Hello Games, to make a soundtrack fitting for the imaginative video game, No Man’s Sky. The release of the video game and album in August 2016 has generated a wide range of media and public interest, the album entering the UK Soundtrack Album Charts at number 11 and the US Billboard Soundtrack Album Charts at number 4.

65 days of static are a four-piece instrumental post-rock band formed in Sheffield in 2004, who have gone on to produce six albums. Their collaboration with No Man’s Sky was formed in 2013 when one of the band’s songs was used for the release of the trailer. Interviewed in the Metro newspaper, Paul says “We just asked for some more information, and they sent it through with some concept art, explained what the trailer was going to be, and it just immediately sounded pretty exciting. So we just asked if they had anyone to do the soundtrack yet. They said no, so we set-up a meeting and it kind of went from there.” The game allows players to explore over a billion unique planets, making the electonic tones and futuristic feel of the band a good match for the soundtrack.  

Paul has previously toured around Europe and Japan performing live as Polinski, as well as working on music for the band. Paul told the Metro how producing the soundtrack for a videogame was completely different to anything he had worked on before. “It can simply be writing in a much less linear fashion, because the soundtrack responds to whatever the player’s doing in the game. So that really kind of confuses most ideas of songwriting, because everything we’ve done previously used to exist through time. Any sort of [game] melody just happens over a period of seconds, instead of being able to count on taking a couple of minutes to reach some sort of climax or conclusion with a song. All these techniques of writing song structures had to be torn apart and we had to work out how to write in a more modular way, not just in terms of the arrangement but in terms of the sonic palette. So it was really exciting and really tough having to think about songs in a more spectral manner.” He added “We were also determined the album would still standalone as a piece of work for anybody who didn’t know about the game. We needed it to be the next proper record, not just some sort of soundtrack commission we got on the side. The whole thing was a big balancing act.”

Paul’s PhD research explores new context and forms for popular music production and performance, as part of the Popular Music Studies Research Group.

65 days start their tour of Europe in October and have plans to tour Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.

Read the full interview with Paul or watch the No Man's Sky trailer

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