Take a Fantastic Voyage
If you find yourself asking “Air who?,” you are not alone. The French based composers Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel have been making electronic music for nearly two decades now. While they’re often cherished as a national treasure, they are not renowned outside of their home country, despite just finishing their seventh studio album. Inspired by the 1902 silent film A Trip to the Moon, their similarly titled new album Le Voyage Dans La Lune is a brilliantly creative score to the restored and colorized 16 minute film now making its way to film festivals the world over.
Large, heavy, and hip-hop sounding bass drum and horns ring in the album on “Astronomic Club,” which lead into chanting vocals and a rhythm guitar. It’s the type of intro track one would expect from an epic action movie or gripping drama. “Seven Stars” boasts lucid drum rhythms, pianos patterns, a fluttering flute, and the chill vocals of both Vincent Taeger and Isabelle Vuarnesson, which complement one another like yin and yang. The song “Parade” is more up-tempo, virtually danceable, with very catchy melodies albeit a short lived 2:32 runtime. “Cosmic Trip” features futuristic electronic beeps and boops alongside the robotically vocoded monotone, “Welcome to the Astronomic Club… Join us on our fantastic trip to the moon.”
The first thing listeners might notice about this album is that it is disturbingly short. However, it’s not quantity that makes a difference here; it’s the quality of the album as a whole. It would be unfair to isolate one or two songs from Le Voyage Dans La Lune because they would be out of context. As it stands, this album is a great piece of auditory artwork which turns a classic film into a refurbished piece of art. Still, in today’s single driven music industry, this album doesn’t have a lot of weight outside the art and film community.