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How 65daysofstatic Ended Up Creating No Man's Sky's Soundtrack

Instrumental experimental rockers 65daysofstatic are known for pushing boundaries, and for their new album they’ve collaborated with a video game for a whole new listening experience.

It’s often the case that bands who pioneer a genre transcend that label; after all, to be trailblazing enough to become the figurehead for a scene, there’s always the likelihood that you will further progress. So it is with 65daysofstatic, the ever-evolving leftfield guitar and electronic experimentalists. Originally standard-bearers for a new wave of UK post-rock, they’ve since built inroads into the math rock, metal, ambient and experimental electronic scenes on their never-ending quest for creative fulfilment. More recently, they’ve been discovered by a new audience: young videogamers, excited by the promise of an upcoming game called No Man’s Sky. The game, which is hinged around a procedurally-generated, deterministic universe of in excess of 18 quintillion planets, is ambitious to say the least. Developers Hello Games used 65daysofstatic’s track Debutante from 2010 opus We Were Exploding Anyway for their initial trailer – which went viral once released – and this led to 65 being commissioned to write their new record with a view to it being used to generate a soundtrack for the galaxy-sized game. Now, with the album having just dropped, 65 have revealed the details on the depth and technology behind the collaboration. Split into a double album, No Man’s Sky has a main disc, entitled Music For An Infinite Universe, and a sprawling second disc of soundscapes. Both are predictably breathtaking.

As Joe Shrewsbury, 65’s principal guitarist, tells it, the collaboration was something close to fate. The band, having previously re-scored the classic sci-fi film Silent Running, were looking for another large-scale cinematic project after the conclusion of touring for their critically acclaimed 2013 album Wild Light. “We were looking for a project and we thought that it looked, if not perfect, then well… stuff like this doesn’t drop into your life every day,” Shrewsbury recalls. “Paul [Wolinski, keyboards] went down to meet Sean [Murray, Hello Games co-founder] in London, and Sean told him that he’d used 65days’ music in their weekly meetings for the previous two years. So even before the game was past the imaginary phase, when it was just lots of squares and triangles, he had used this music when he was talking about the game to instil enthusiasm in his team.”

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