We're not surprised at all that AIR have been chosen to make the soundtrack for a film like “ A Trip To The Moon”. The French patriotism is legendary, and more so in a case like this. The first ever blockbuster - a science fiction film from 1902 - it has recently been re-released in its restored, hand-coloured version, at festivals like Cannes and Sundance. In 1993, a hand-coloured print of Georges Mèlies' film was found at the Filmoteca de Catalunya, but it wasn't until 2011, under the technical supervision of the Los Angeles Technicolor Lab, that it was projected again - with lots of buzz, as if it were a unique event. With the frames polychromed, the makeover required one more detail to be complete, to meet the approval of a modern audience: a soundtrack that would do it justice.
That's where Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin come in, who aren't exactly new to this – their music doesn't only sound cinematic, they also provided the sounds for Sofia Coppola's creation, the golden cage the Lisbon sisters were locked up in “ The Virgin Suicides”). With the proposal on the table, the challenge was served. How to musically accompany a film that every film buff in the world has seen thousands of times? Easy: by putting all the (positive) clichés AIR have been displaying on their most recent album in little over half an hour. “ Le Voyage Dans La Lune” features spacey funk and sounds like a jazz jam (“ Parade”, one of the few rhythmic tracks on the album), Jurassic Moogs (“Sonic Armada”), synths that explode like a meteoric rain (“ Cosmic Trip”) and a slight touch of psychedelia that once again puts them close to their heroes Pink Floyd (“ Lava”). All that, completed - as the ideals of French style and savoir-faire demand - with extremely stylish pianos (“ Moon Fever”) and a tension (the start of “Astronomic Club”) that fights against the weightlessness and the dangers facing the stars of the film.
Limiting the vocals to two very concrete moments, AIR decided, and rightly so, that Victoria Legrand, the singer of Beach House (on the hypnotic “ Seven Stars”) and Au Revoir Simone (on the somewhat inferior “ Who Am I Now?”) were the only people who could tell the tale of this space trip in an elegant way. Without taking any risks, Dunckel and Godin have managed to create a credible and solid soundtrack. Although, come to think of it, maybe it helps that the duration is so short that there's no time for the insipid filler that can be heard on their studio efforts.