There’s not a whole lot to say about the Rubber soundtrack, other than that it’s good, and definitely better than what Daft Punk mustered to score the new TRON. While dance music’s erstwhile heroes earned themselves a pretty thick coffin nail by failing to put Disney money and a 90-piece orchestra to any remotely interesting use (having come off a five-year wait since the wafer-thin Human After All, no less), this here duo of electronic French minds wisely converged with fewer expectations, a smaller budget, and a whole lot less bloat.
True, Rubber has been the excuse of at least one mega-huge French band’s tiresome refusal to even begin recording new material — Gaspard Augé’s Justice — and that’s a bit odd, considering it sounds every bit like the casual collaboration between him and Mr. Oizo that it likely was. But that’s not to slight the way Augé’s knack for classical bombast finds an unlikely complement in Oizo’s weird and wonky sense of humor. After all, what this music was made to score is worth noting: Oizo’s second feature film, an exploration of what might happen were a tire to gain psychic consciousness and a taste for blood.
At 14 tracks in 30 minutes, it’s a quite diverse set of miniatures, speaking to a wider spectrum of emotions than the film’s single-celled absurdity would suggest. There’s the pensive faux-orchestrations of “Sympho8” and “Sunsetire,” the beating pulse behind “Tricycle Express” and the brooding pianos of “No Reason,” a lovely tribute to Gainsbourg’s scores in “Racket,” and an obnoxiously batshit Oizo self-parody in “Rubber.” In terms of French electro-people making movie scores, SebastiAn’s magnificent work this past year for Notre Jour Viendra remains the go-to album, but Rubber’s next in line.