Air | Le Voyage Dans La Lune

Astralwerks (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  January 31, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars

Air - Le Voyage

It was inevitable that Air would one day be asked to soundtrack a colorized version of an iconic 1902 silent French film about moon exploration, right? There's the French thing, the moon thing, the kitsch-cool factor. The band's largely instrumental soundtrack for a new restoration of Georges Méliès's 15-minute Le voyage dans la lune, expanded to a 30-minute album, is straight-up likeable cinematic galaxy-funk. Heavy on both mood and melody, the tracks alternate between playfully groovy ("Sonic Armada," "Cosmic Trip") and softly ambient ("Moon Fever," "Decollage"). Live instrumentation and organic jams keep it all from sounding très moderne, and though it touches upon some typical Air tropes (free-floating whispery shimmers, B-movie space sounds gone glitzy) the overall loosey-goosey methodology is refreshing. Perhaps the best thing about this quirky little record is how, despite its brevity, it gives Air a chance to stretch their legs as a band. Between the rhythm workouts, however, a zero-gravity self-reflective stillness permeates. The song "Who Am I Now" asks, "What do I know?/Where should I go?" The music itself isn't uncharted territory, but it can conjure a certain eerie personal wilderness.
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