Ypx here—today we’re going to be listening to “Rockmen (Explore)” from FTL: Faster Than Light.
Released in 2012 by Subset Games, FTL is a game where you control the crew of a spacecraft as it travels through space to deliver information. It is a real-time combat roguelike that asks players to recruit new crew, upgrade the ship, and combat various enemies in order to reach the goal. The game’s music is composed by Ben Prunty.
“Rockmen (Explore)” opens with a typical synth arp and melody that we would expect from a science-fiction or space game, but we’ll soon find out that this is not purely ambient. Around 40 seconds in we get a driving and percussive variant of the synth, adding some explosive and distorted percussion on top after a series of chords. Occasionally the chord stabs will be layered with some more synths, and we have a fleeting melody on a smooth sine wave that appears briefly. At several points the track has a sweep into brief silence, at which point the track builds instrumentation from a single idea again.