We pair a game with an album. You press play and turn off the original soundtrack. Voila!
Underrail is a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk role-playing game in which you creep around an underground maze of tunnels as you fight, thieve, and generally scrap to survive. Although the mechanics are incredibly well designed, Underrail could use a bit (only a bit, mind you!) of help in terms of atmosphere and emotional texture, and that’s why I’m matching it with The Emperor Machine’s excellent album Aimee Tallulah Is Hypnotised
The album is a hypnotic collection of funk-tinged vintage electro that evokes Giorgo Moroder’s soundtrack work on the final scene in Blade Runner (you know, the helicopter shot of Decker steering a convertible into the mountainscape?). The Emperor Machine gives Underrail a real feeling of drive, of purpose, and makes every tactical battle (or stealthy act of thieving) seem that much more badass. There’s no vocal distractions and the music runs loops around itself, uniting guitars, synths, and other gritty bleeps in much the same way Underrail weaves the ruined past with the troubled future. Plus honestly, The Emperor Machine is just plain great electronic music, and you’ve probably never heard of it.