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CD: Air - Le Voyage Dans la Lune | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Air - Le Voyage Dans la Lune

CD: Air - Le Voyage Dans la Lune

Another deliciously likeable album from the underrated French duo

14 years after Moon Safari, Air go lunar once again

A semantic side effect of my longish involvement in music culture has been hearing certain phrases pass from fringe slang obscurity to mainstream acceptance. Among these is the term “chill out”, purloined by ravers from the hippies to describe post-club Ecstasy comedown music, especially after the KLF used it.

By the early 2000s, however, “chill out” was tired and ubiquitous, conjuring images of candlelit Primrose Hill dinner parties where Zero 7 played predictably, coolly in the background.

If there was a tipping point in this process it was Air’s extremely successful 1998 debut album Moon Safari (which everyone knows, even if they think they won’t, due to its persistent use as television incidental music). It pushed the Parisian duo into an unwanted niche. These two former architecture students making spacey instrumental pop on retro synthesizers have become forever filed away as “that Nineties chill-out band”.

In the years since, over the course of seven studio albums, they have - with the exception of 2007’s flat Pocket Symphony - maintained a magnificently high musical standard but are often ignored and sidelined. France, however, roundly appreciates them and the duo were asked last year to write a soundtrack for a newly discovered colour print of Georges Méliès’ seminal 1902 film Le Voyage dans la Lune. They did so and have expanded it into another lovely album, a melodic bubblebath of warped easy listening head music.

It features a couple of vocals, by the suitably hip likes of Au Revoir Simone and Beach House singer Victoria Legrand, but is essentially business as usual - which means delicious Moog action, sonic hot chocolate and tunes that latch sweetly to the memory. The bouncy “Parade” is as good as anything Air have done, the bleepy funk of “Cosmic Trip” frolics contagiously, and “Sonic Armada” is a pumping, pimping Gallic sex disco. When all's said and done, it's laid back but not particularly chilled out. It's also utterly groovy.

Watch the video for "Parade" which is entirely loaded with footage from Georges Méliès’ Le Voyage Dans la Lune

Delicious Moog action, sonic hot chocolate and tunes that latch sweetly to the memory


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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