In an era when Hollywood film composers are concocting increasingly complex and convoluted themes that are melodically elaborate but ultimately unmemorable, veteran Hans Zimmer continues to prove himself to be a master of minimalist motifs that leave long-lasting impressions. Such is the case with his excellent score for the equally excellent and unfairly underrated film Chappie.
again, Zimmer demonstrates that less is indeed more, achieving with
just a few simple riffs what others fail to do with a preponderance
of notes. The result is a masterpiece of percussive, pulse-pounding
industrial techno music that brilliantly underscores the film's
explorations of sentient technology, unconventional families, human
and artificial existentialism, and societal breakdown and chaos.
sets this soundtrack apart, aside from its addictive appeal, is that
it is Zimmer's first entirely electronic score in over two decades
(with the exception of, as Zimmer puts it, “a chap whistling”).
Zimmer and his team – which includes Steve Mazzaro, Andrew
Kawczynski, and Junkie XL among others and which Zimmer dubs the
Chappie Elektrik Synthphonia – created and programmed the music on
40-year-old analog synthesizers.
electronic sounds and textures recall Jan Hammer's acclaimed
pioneering work on the iconic 1980s Miami Vice TV series, but
on a much more grandiose and epic level. Others have also likened
Zimmer's score to Vangelis's electronic music for Blade Runner.
Like those other scores, the soundtrack for Chappie not only
perfectly suits the movie, but stands on its own as a compelling and
bold work of art.