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Soundtrack review: Burn out (Gregoire Auger – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Burn out (Gregoire Auger – 2018)

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“Burn out” is a 2018 French thriller. Head burned, addicted to thrills, Tony lives for one thing: become a professional motorcycle super-bike driver. Until the day he discovers that his son’s mother is linked to the gypsy underworld. The only way out of this gear: put his talents at the service of mobsters. Circuit driver during the day, go-faster at night, Tony is plunged into an infernal spiral that leads him to the brink of rupture. Gregoire Auger wrote the score.

The opening cue “Tony / La carte / Jordan” is right up my alley as it’s a rhythmic electronic piece with ambient vibes. I’ve always been particular to electronic music and especially to this louder brand, “Tron: Legacy” like. I like electronic music that doesn’t resort to unnecessary bells and whistles and just tells me the story, the metallic way. Since this movie is a thriller, the pace of the opening cue is just the way I need it, cold and frantic. What can make it even better is having moments when it keeps the fast pace but gets quieter, like the chimes in “Dragon”. The music blends with sound effects that make me think of water dripping or marbles hitting a stone floor; the atmosphere created by the composer is dark, mysterious and uncertain.

The score includes the occasional sound effects from the movie, I imagine, like a car door closing and the car revving or bottles being smashed and I don’t mind them; electronic music and sound design blend very well with such effects as they add to the authenticity of the sound. Every now and then the score gets close to EDM like in “Go fast”; I can’t help but feel hooked to these addictive beats and I get them feeling of watching an exciting story whose epic thread I want to follow to the end.

Gregoire Auger experiments with his music and a cue like “La poursuite” becomes the most fascinating from the entire score, with moments when the tension almost flatlines the music or to Chinese drop like sounds that crumble it into little pieces that later try to get back together again; I don’t know how else to put it but the music is vibrant, modular and changes shape all the time. The composer knows what he does and knows how to use his gear and “Burn out” is one of the more fascinating electronic scores I’ve heard lately.

If you like the dark, seductive rhythms of electronic music you will love “Burn out”; I can’t wait to hear more from Gregoire Auger after this one.

Cue rating: 93 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 26 / 35

Album excellence: 76%

Highlights:
Tony / La carte / Jordan
Dragon
L’émeute
La poursuite
En fumée
La planque
Duel
Burn Out

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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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