TV

Soundtrack review: Humans (Cristobal Tapia de Veer – 2015)

Another week, another release form Silva Screen Records of a British TV series score, and they should just keep them coming. I love what this label is doing because the British TV medium deserves to be musically explored in depth. This time it’s “Humans”, a British-American science fiction television series, with the first season debuting on 14 June 2015 on Channel 4 and AMC, and concluding on 2 August 2015. Written by the British team Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, based on the award-winning Swedish science fiction drama Real Humans, the series explores the emotional impact of the blurring of the lines between humans and machines. I’ve always been fascinated by the human / machines dynamic so I will check this one out. Fascinating is a word I’d use for Cristobal Tapia de Veer’s music, because he surely is a unique composer. His score for “Utopia” at times made me feel like I was part of a torture experiment while at other times it made me feel at home. I guess if his music didn’t always fit a story, they found a story to fit his music.

Or should I say sound? It depends what your definition of music is. For example the first cue “Synthetic humans genesis” is melodic and has a rhythmic ticking in the background so I guess it’s music. That addictive rhythmic ticking actually turns out to be a theme because it comes back in the next cue alongside some electronic pulses. For sure the musical world of “humans” is unique and very appropriate for the story. I hope there will be some moments though when the human part will be explored as well. “Singularity slaves” tickles my ambient loving bone in the beginning and even if it gets messy later I still enjoy the hell out of it. I’m sure I could listen to hours of this, but this little dose hits the spot.

As always I am more drawn to the sweet dreamy atmospheric moments. “Exodus – recovery” is my kind of cue, the kind I will often return to with pleasure. I like the atmosphere of “Humans”, I like how the score makes me feel and how it explores the psyche of a machine that wants to be human. I am not quoting the plot of the show here; like I said I’ve always been fascinated with this subject and I’m always imagine and thought about it and the loneliness and yearning in Tapia de Veer’s music mirrors my feelings on the matter. This is how a score dealing with the emotional impact of the blurring of lines between humans and machines should sound like. During the show stopping “No harm will ever come to you” I feel like wiping a tear of a metallic cheek. Powerful and stunning cue this one.

“Humans” will not be for everyone. You need a special state of mind and opening towards this sound but once you let it in you will appreciate what this intriguing composer is doing here. I loved this one! More scores like this please!

Cue rating: 92 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 50 / 83

Album excellence: 60%

Highlights:

3 Singularity Slaves

5 Exodus-Recovery

6 Are You Conscious

8 No Harm Will Ever Come To You

10 Faster Stronger Fearless

11 18

13 Niska Strikes Back

15 Apricot Jam

16 I Was Never Little

17 Bring Her Back

19 If I Die It Means I Have Lived

20 Tree Of Life

22 Mia Resurrected

 

 

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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