The first trailer for the Ghost in the Shell remake was released last week and all whitewashing controversy aside, it looks pretty good (watch it here). I’m still not sold on the casting but the settings and aesthetics are pretty spot on. The trailer’s music is an interesting choice, though. The featured song is KI Theory’s cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” — and though it’s decent, it’s hardly inspired.
For that, check out “Speak To Me,” a track created by noted vaporwave producer HKE (formerly Hong Kong Express) for the trailer. “Speak To Me” takes a different approach and was ultimately rejected by the film’s producers. I think they made the wrong choice, but judge for yourself.
I dig how “Speak To Me” evokes both Kenji Kawai’s classic score and Yoko Kanno’s Stand Alone Complex work even as it further explores the dense atmospherics that HKE employed in his excellent 2814 project. To these ears, it’s a better match for Ghost in the Shell’s exotic, ominous, and fascinating aesthetic than Depeche Mode.
If you’re wondering what might’ve been, Youtuber Donnie Cuzens re-edited the Ghost in the Shell trailer with HKE’s track. While the dialog is missing, the overall effect is very different and more unique than the Depeche Mode-scored version.
Fortunately, HKE’s work isn’t all for naught. According to his Soundcloud page, he’ll probably rework “Speak To Me” into a longer song for use on one of his next albums. For what it’s worth, I don’t think he needs to remove the song’s “more cinematic elements,” though; they sound pretty much perfect as is.