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Alain Goraguer - La Plančte Sauvage (OST) CD (album) cover


Alain Goraguer


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.80 | 27 ratings

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4 stars Soundtrack for the mind

Having never seen this French cult cartoon, I hold onto the images the imaginative, yet incredibly harnessed music paints within me - like a sailor to a mast - a regular tree-hugger constricting an elderly oak.

It is easy to dream yourself far away to this album, and if anything - this has got to be one of the most panoramic and visual musical affairs I've ever come across. You can just imagine huge rainbow coloured images flashing before your eyes - brightly exploding greens upon reds and yellows in one giant feast of sonic lead brush-strokes.

No wonder since Alain Goraguer is mostly known for his work as a music conductor for French television. Though my guess is that this album, The Fantastic Planet, remains his most elaborate venture; in a time where music and art went together like tomatoes and salt, and who can really fault him for trying to widen his horizon during a cataclysmic year for music, where the walls between genres and styles literally came tumbling down... Sure, it was a gradual thing that didn't happen over night, but when you start listening to a lot of the movie soundtracks that were being made around the same time, you'll spot an openness to music and possibilities that quite elegantly mirrored what our great prog rock heroes were hinting at as well.

La Plančte Sauvage is actually one long piece divided up in some 25 distinguishable titles. A strong charismatic theme runs through the heart of it like a beautiful red velvety string - emerging from the depths of the tunes like a sweet tender melodic touch. It's theatrical and grand as only the French can make it, but boy is it memorable, and before you know it, you'll be humming the main theme in the back of your mind like a long lost ditty from your school-days.

Connecting everything on here is a deep powerful psychedelic funk drive. Much of it comes from the hapsichord and wah wah guitar - together driving this thing forth with a propulsive energy that reminds this listener of George Clinton and the whole Funkadelic sound. What sets Goraguer apart though, is his natural soundtrack heritage - the power to wield a symphony orchestra that very delicately and softly applies velvet and corduroy to a funk-based album that otherwise would come off dirty and gritty - making your head bob and your pelvis shake. -And even if Clinton went on to do the same sort of thing, you can't really compare it to what is happening here. Maybe it's a French thing, because I hear a lot of the same qualities in Vannier's L'Enfant Assassin des Mouche, only this record is much less eclectic and experimental, - but there's something quite original at play. A musical trade that while funky at heart, never really wanders from that unique French vibe.

Imagine a smooth, psychedelic, velvety, panoramic, symphonic gulp of funk laden Shaft music, and you effectively get La Plančte Sauvage. Every single time I put this album on, I get transported to a place behind my eyelids, where all sorts of creatures emerge. Much like those commercials Animal Planet do for themselves, I find myself seeing bizarre shapes of neon sea slugs writhing, lime green mantas on the prowl and soaring majestic jellyfish looking like strange flying see through muscles. All of this and much much more awaits the humble listener, when approaching this wonderful soundtrack. I, for one, don't need a cartoon to add colours to the mix, that's for damn sure...

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |


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