Album Reviews

Alain Goraguer: La Planète Sauvage Original Soundtrack (Superior Viaduct)

Fantastic Planet

In this writer’s opinion, the French animated film La Planète Sauvage (Fantastic Planet for you English speakers) is easily one of the finest animated films of all time. Though it may outwardly appear to be a “cartoon,” it is a journey into an alien world that isn’t necessarily as alien as you may believe. The film, released in 1973, was the masterwork of René Laloux and Roland Topor, and is a timeless journey into allegory.

A high caliber film like Fantastic Planet requires a soundtrack that will serve it justice, and that’s exactly what French composer Alain Goraguer gave them, and Superior Viaduct has seen fit to give the vinyl reissue treatment. For the complexities of the film, Goraguer devised a soundtrack that blends jazz and progressive sounds into a cohesive whole, yet never deviate much from the main theme. The second song on the album, “Deshominisation (I),” sets the basic melody from which the other twenty-four pieces of music are based. Many of these pieces are very brief—not even a minute in length—but they flow together in such a way that listening to the album never feels repetitive. Sonically, the sound is very reminiscent of Broadcast and the early works of Air; its a cool, futuristic jazz that’s blended with pop, features a sensual female vocalist providing coos and caws, and for 1973, it’s definitely an innovative sound.

So, your duty now is to first check out Fantastic Planet. Once you do, dig the soundtrack. You’ll be glad you did.

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