Strange Sci-Fi Scenes with December

Screenshot 2023-02-17 at 11.54.02

The pandemic calibrated our relationship to our inner and outside worlds.

This is the inspiration behind and the climate that French artist December created his second album in.

The Outside World, a long player that follows previous outings on the likes of L.I.E.S, Blackest Ever Black and Death & Leisure, ruminates on those ‘strange and uncertain’ times and the way it changed our perception of everything beyond the safety of our inner spaces.


Marrying the disconcerting with the romantic, December builds a sound world of crunchy, industrial beats, clattering photo rhythms and sci-fi soundscapes, peppered with his despairing vocals that fade in and out of the mist. It’s a commentary on how the outside was fed into our imagination and our realities during this extended period of isolation – be the through media, television, news and films – and how we in turn decoded and experienced these.

The album is more than just the music too. December has teamed up with his longterm visual collaborator, photographer Marie Quéau, for a series of stills that accompany the album, as well as for his corresponding AV live show which utilises Marie’s video work to create a ‘strange and fascinating world’.

This kind of imagery, and that palpable tension that runs through the sonics on the album, is what has inspired his playlist for us; a collection of sci-fi themed film scenes that have a weird, unspoken discomfort to them. Over to December…

“I selected 10 scenes from films where dusty sci-fi themes are used in a subtle, almost hidden way. With simple indirect effects. Scenes where a subtle strangeness, a hidden discomfort, an invisible tension, a haunting weirdness is floating in the air. Not obvious or tacky, an in-between-the-lines bizarre atmosphere, a hard-to-grasp malaise where sound is a major medium.

This is what I tried to do with the album: strange soundscapes where ambiguous emotions are scratching the surface without being heavy, epic or simplistic. Finding a balance, a subtle tension, where it’s almost impossible to tell what makes the music feels slightly off and bizarre. Minimalism and mystery have such a powerful effect.

Marie Quéau (who made all the visual of the album and the images of our AV live show) and I are very much influenced by dusty, pre-CGI, dirty, organic sci-fi films so here are ten scenes that have influenced “The Outside World”, my second album.”

The Outside World is out now on Natural Science Records.

SCANNERS - David Cronenberg

Because it’s a perfect example of how tension can be stronger with only sound and an invisible phenomenon haunting a situation until a stifling climax.

  • SCANNERS - David Cronenberg

    Because it’s a perfect example of how tension can be stronger with only sound and an invisible phenomenon haunting a situation until a stifling climax.

  • POST TENEBRAS LUX - Carlos Reygadas

    Fascinating scene from a fascinating film. How silence and a mysterious soundscape can open the way to a bold and fantasy-ish animated apparition in the middle of a rather “serious” art film.

  • STRANGE DAYS - Kathryn Bigelow

    How the most futuristic and techy fantasies can be illustrated by the simplest tricks and be powerful without needing a lot of effects. Plus, memories and flashbacks is a pretty recurrent topic of the album.

  • MEMORIA - Apichatpong Weerasethakul

    One of my favorite films of all time. Absolute proof of the power of sound in cinema and art in general. An invisible phenomenon haunts this character, leading her to unknown territories. Showing how sci-fi themes can be used in such a low-key, subtle and poetic way. I think we too often associate SF topics with Hollywood blockbusters. My album tries something similar, taking so called “futuristic” themes back to simplicity and minimalism. Ancestral, unsophisticated methods. I make music in a simple way.

  • EVENT HORIZON - Paul W.S Anderson

    One of our favorite 90’s Horror-SF films for both Marie and I. Space had never been so goth. I especially love the first half, before it gets crazier and more graphic. I love the rusty and mysterious sound atmosphere of the beginning of the film and this metallic cathedral look of the ship. And who better exemplifies subtle weirdness that Sam Neil?

  • EXISTENZ - David Cronenberg

    Slightly over-used reference these days but it’s simply impossible not to mention David Cronenberg twice here. We are both hardcore fans of the canadian director and the bone gun scene in Existenz is just so strange. Both disgusting and weirdly sensual at the same time. It’s a masterpiece of bizarre. Plus Marie and I are very attached to the idea of retro-futuristic technology. A gun made of bones having both a prehistoric and futuristic look in a pre-VR video game story? Hits the sweet spot.

  • LA JETÉE - Chris Marker

    Masterpiece classic. How SF can become a poem and avoid all the clichés of the genre.

  • GHOSTS OF MARS - John Carpenter

    One of the kitchiest Carpenter’s films but one we both adore. I love the neo-metal / industrial FM score of the film as well as the martians death-metal look. But this necklace scene always stuck with me, memories from the future hidden in an object is a theme Marie and I always kinda revolved around.

  • SUR LE GLOBE D'ARGENT - Andrzej Zulawski

    Marie’s favorite sci-fi film. Retro-futuristic aesthetics at its peak. Prehistoric artefacts in the future with a hint of middle ages influences. Science Fiction as a way to make different ages coexist and not only in a simplistic idea of the future as brand new era.

  • STALKER - Andreï Tarkovski

    Huge classic as well, like “La Jetée” “Stalker” showed us sci-fi could be poetic and metaphysical, minimalistic, spiritual. And the sound is a key element in this haunting final scene.