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Austin Wintory – “Deformers” Review

If a mad French circus took over the world - this would be its overture.
Austin Wintory
Austin Wintory

Austin Wintory is perhaps more well-known for his sweeping and epic soundtracks for Journey and Abzu – and the emotion they bring. Deformers brings his playful side back to the fore with a wonderfully squishy and barmy soundtrack that’s as inventive as it is grande.

Many of the tracks open with a narrative piece from Troy Baker, doing his best David Attenborough impression. It’s a welcome layer of craziness before many of tracks take form. If you aren’t a fan of it though, the tracks are also available without a voice over.

The soundtrack itself has a lot of accordion, guitar, bass and tuned percussion. The result makes some of the tracks has this French Circus de Soleil feel.   “The Peculiar Partnership of Sue and Hamilton” channels this mad circus act feel to perfection with its grande overtures and quirky motifs. Veering more towards a wild west on steroids, “Bovine-Ursine Animosity” has a wonderful fiddle and guitar interplay that spearheads a western and a Spanish bull dance in one track. “Spherical Disharmony” is more an Irish jig affair – but as a cutesy boss battle styled track. I love how Wintory is able to completely change style and mood in an instant and it simply just works. “Stax Rises” is a more elegant interplay of strings and brass that brings a small bit of respite before even that track goes clown evil.

“Fergusons Trib Waltz” has that French organ puppeteer vibe going with a mini opera, plenty of guitar and maracas and a beautifully weighted waltz all at the same time. It shouldn’t work on paper but each segment hands off to the next expertly and its switch from drama to brooding and back again is well pitched. The tuned percussive “A Spectacle of Orbs” feels like a gun shoot out in the wild west when the guitar enters half way before the Irish folksy circus side returns to close out the voice on/voice off tracks.

Two epic eight and half-minute tracks round out the soundtrack and both are Austin Wintory basically being let completely loose with everything he bought to the table beforehand and cramming his ideas into two tracks. They are more like movement suites than tracks and showcase an unhinged genius making a Tim Burton-esque soundtrack made for battle.

Unusual, clever, difficult to categorise but utterly spellbinding in its bewitching, the Deformers soundtrack is quite fantastic and if you enjoy computer game soundtracks, this is one of the more unique ones that you can pick up and enjoy without really playing the (admittedly awesome) game.

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