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Soundtrack review: Trancers II (Phil Davies & Mark Ryder – 1991, 2016)

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Soundtrack review: Trancers II (Phil Davies & Mark Ryder – 1991, 2016)

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“Trancers II” is a 1991 American action science fiction film directed by Charles Band. It is the sequel to Trancers starring Tim Thomerson and Helen Hunt. The plot involves once again time travel with the help of drug injections. The two composers Phil Davies and Mark Ryder returned to score the movie. Intrada released a 2CD album with the expanded scores of the first three movies.

The second score picks up right where the first one left off, with a dark synth theme for the main character Jack Deth. Once again the familiar synth mist takes me over and I embrace my favorite sound. the score for the second movie seems darker than the first one but it’s still dreamy and still has that unmistakable synth flow. I recognize motifs from “Trancers” that the composers cleverly insert to connect the two scores. Once again Phis Davies and Mark Ryder keep it interesting with various effects in the music, from the riding anthems to Asian or even Latin influences in their electronics.

My favorite motif from the “Trancers” series remains what I call the “love theme”; it appears here in “Be careful” and in “Ashby’s rescue” after it gave me goose bumps a couple of times in the original score. That sublimely innocent variation always gets to me. My next favorite would be the racing motif that appears in full force in “A special patient”. Again it’s a motif that appeared in the first score as well and it makes me thing of arcade games, of racing, of chasing.

What sets the music of “Trancers” apart from other scores, even other synth or electronic scores, is that it has a lot of heart. The composers manage to blend the cold and metallic feel of the music with the warmth of the people that live in that world. Even without seeing the movie for a long time I care about them, I care about their journey and I want to hear a happy end. I can relate so well with the love motifs that I feel as if I am part of the story.

Nostalgia is at the highest level for me with this one. If you are an 80s fan and a synth music fan this is as good as it gets. Just listen to “Barn showdown” and it’s enough to satisfy any dark synth desire and retro wish. The “Trancers” movies scores should be put in museums. I am sure that when they will discover a time travelling method, it will involve music like this.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 44 / 44

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

Jack Deth

A Bad Day For Shopping

Dr. Wardo

Be Careful

A Special Patient

New Clothes

Jack And Alice

Exploding Ham

Herbs Of The Future

Van Getaway

Ashby’s Rescue

Barn Showdown

Thank You, Jack And End Title

 

 

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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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