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Soundtrack review: Turbo kid (Le Matos – 2015)

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“Turbo Kid” is a 2015 Canadian-New Zealand dystopian action-adventure comedy film and directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell. The film stars Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Edwin Wright, Aaron Jeffery and Romano Orzar. The film follows the adventures of The Kid, a teenage boy in the “Wastelands”, an alternate 1997 Earth where water is scarce, turned superhero through the encouragement of a mysterious girl, Apple, as he teams up with her to stop the tyrannical leader Zeus.. A movie like this usually is a slam dunk for me from the score point of view. The score is written by Le Matos. Le Matos consists of Jean-Philippe Bernier and Jean-Nicolas Leupi and is a French Canadian electronic band from Montreal. The sounds are inspired by Vangelis, John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream, Shuki Levy and Goblin. Yeah this is going to be great.

The album is more than two hours long but the first 10 cues are from another album which inspired this one, so the proper “Turbo kid” starts with “1997”. Now dystopia…wasteland… heroes… this screams synth and electronics to me. 1997 is a special year to me, the year I started college and a time of great nostalgia to me. These guys must have found a way inside me because their theme for this year is the sweetest and dreamiest synth piece I could ever hope for. This sound is the most comfortable place I could be in. I grew up in the 80s with their spectacular electronic and synth music ambient and I am forever hooked to this sound. When I hear “Vicious rat” it’s like I am relieving my favorite childhood memories. I feel the same warmth, comfort and safety I felt back then and nothing can touch me. Actually, something can… this awesome music. “Turbo kid” has everything, and I mean everything I could wish for: dreamy moments, dark menacing pieces, empty and metallic anthems. I bathe in nostalgia, I’m in over my head with this one and I don’t want to get out. “Personal bubble” as a cue title symbolizes the best what this score means to me.

We’ve had quite a few retro synth gems in 2015 and “Kung Fury” for sure will make my top 5 of the year. I didn’t expect though to get another gift like “Turbo kid”. How did I live until now without having heard “The playground” for example? It’s like the Terminator himself tore through the wasteland of this score for a little visit. The more I listen to the score the more I feel as if it’s the father of “Tron: Legacy”, a father born 5 years later but who went back to the past and went through a lot of stuff in order to make it to the present.

If you grew up in the 80s and if you are a fan of synth music, “Turbo Kid” will become very quickly one of your favorite scores of all time. Me, I don’t know when I will be able to stop listening to it.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 82 / 82

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

1997

Vicious Rat

The Arm Wrestler

Personal Bubble

The Executioner

The Playground

The Good Plan

Skeletron

Kid’s Dream

Scavenging

Blades & Fire

Bounty Hunter Vision

The Water Hunter

You’re It

Viewmaster

The Hunt

Our Last Hope

Kid Suit Up

Duel

Pool Party

58 Minutes Pour Vivre (Pool Party Mix)

The Escape

Kid’s Nightmare Pt. 1

Apple’s Hearts

Going To The Videostore

The Black Riders

Watching The Stars

Bagu’s Questionnaire

Highway 64 (Ost Version)

Robot Cemetary

Kid’s Nightmare Pt. 2

Like Faith Or Some Shit (Ost Version)

The Standoff

Eyes Throat Genitals (Ost Version)

Playtime Is Over (Ost Version)

Skeletron’s Last Stand

Cc-1-11

Last Breath (Ost Version)

Tequila Sunrise (Ost Version)

88mph (Bagu’s Bar Mix)

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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