The original score for the anime smash hit Ghost in the Shell is iconic: Kenji Kawai’s composition soundtracked the groundwork that propelled a more mature anime into the Western psyche. It’s a thoughtful, otherworldly, full body experience of a score – the opening credits, where Major is constructed as a human cyborg to the sounds of a children’s choir, is an intense, powerhouse of a production. For the live-action adaptation, Clint Mansell (Requiem for a Dream and Black Mirror’sSan Junipero episode) was chosen to create the score.
Steve Aoki – known for cake-throwing and bro-whistle calling EDM tracks – was tasked with creating a remix of the film’s theme. The DJ posted the edit, with a trailer for the film, on his Facebook page.
“This is a big day for me," Aoki wrote in a post. “Especially for teenage youth me when I first watched the anime Ghost In The Shell that planted the seeds for my imagination and obsession for sci fi android life AI singularity and later the blueprints towards my Neon Future ideology.”
“So yes this is a big day and a proud moment to team up with GITS to produce the official remix to Utai IV — ‘Reawakening’ and have it scored in the commercial.”
Fans of the cult film have been ripping into the remix as an unsubtle, jarring misstep.
Musicians have long used the vibrant world of anime as a source for inspiration – take Sega Bodega’s beautiful exploration of Studio Ghibli soundtracks on NTS, or the ambitious reinvention of the cyberpunk thriller Akira’s score by Bwana. What seems to be the golden ticket for musical success when it comes to reimagining key works is elevating its already mesmerising qualities, and respecting the source material without butchering it, until it’s been consumed by a sweaty mosh pit of guys in ribbed tank tops and rotting festival wristbands paying 90 quid for coke cut with lightbulbs.