Air - Le Voyage Dans la Lune

A brief, but enchanting, experience
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Ah Air, how you confound us still. The follow-up to 2009’s mostly decent ‘Love 2’ is a soundtrack (the band'’s second full score, following their delicate work with Sofia Coppola on ‘The Virgin Suicides’), but not for anything you might find in your local multiplex right now. The film in question is Georges Méliès iconic silent sci-fi, Le Voyage Dans La Lune - AKA A Trip To The Moon, first released in 1902.

Clocking in at just over thirty-one minutes, it’s a slight thing - though that’s pretty much double the running time of the film itself. But in that half-hour, Godin and Dunckel pack in all the elements of an archetypal Air album. The kitschy vibe, the hodgepodge of sonic elements nicked from jazz, funk, krautrock and electronica, and the occasional sonic freak-out are all present and correct, giving you an espresso hit of the band.

It’s low on vocals, but big on atmosphere. ‘Moon Fever’ sounds like a Boards Of Canada track, or something on Ghost Box, while ‘Lava’ starts with a plaintive piano, before rocking out in its own eccentric way. But the standout track is ‘Seven Stars’ - a gorgeous, piano-led piece, with the lightest sprinkling of Joe Meek-style effects. An achingly lovely cosmic ballad, it’s a shame that there’s nothing else like it on the album. But then this is a soundtrack. Listened to while watching Georges Méliès suitably trippy sci-fi spectacle, it makes for a brief, but enchanting, experience.

7/10

Words by WILL SALMON

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