A Journal Of The Dark Arts
As you may or may not already know, we’re total soundtrack fiends, here at Forestpunk. They’re a goldmine for sample junkies, progressive DJs and retro fetishists. Just when you were starting to despair, worn out the grooves on yr copy of White Noise, starting to consider starting an anime
theme song cover band, well, this one’s from you.
Les Maitres Du Temps is a feature-length animated film from 1982, directed by Rene Laloux, the man responsible for Fantastic Planet. It tells the story of a young boy named Piel, marooned on the planet
Perdide, after his father dies in a fiery car wreck. His last act was to provide Piel with an intergalactic transmitter that looks like an Easter Egg painted like a mushroom, tells Piel its name is Mike, and tells him to run into the forest that looks like a coral maze.
Intergalactic space pirate Jaffar receives a transmission from Piel’s father,
posthumously, asking him to swing by Perdide and pick up his son. What ensues are a series of surreal and psychotropic space adventures, seemingly thrown out at random, making for the weirdest sort of linear ‘plot’. This could be discarded as expendable tripe to amuse children if not for the fact that the movie is chock full of genuine, likable characters and simply stunning animation.
Les Maitres Du Temp’s main claim to fame was that it brought to life the artwork of legendary French comics artist Moebius, aka Jean Giraud, visual consultant for The Fifth Element, Tron, and Ridley Scott’s Alien. He was one of the founders of Heavy Metal magazine. His style is searing, technicolor ’70s surrealism, like the phantasmagoria playing out behind the eyelids of William Hurt in Altered States. Its brilliant to see it brought to life in a feature-length film. The bizarre secession of sub-plots serves to further the dream-like impression it leaves you with. It will revert you to a state of child-like wonder, gasping at ray guns and faceless angels and bizarre Seuss-like characters.
The score from Jean-Pierre Bourtayre, with the occasional spoken/sung interlude from the film, comes off as a De Wolfe joint from that era, but there are moments, like the ‘Start Theme’, of some genuinely tough, energetic Robotic funk. It sounds remarkably in line with some of today’s rough-hewn handmade electronica.
This record is a refreshing addition to the standard Radiophonic/hauntological interpretation of Library Music, which mostly stays in the ’60s and ’70s. Like recent works from Pye Corner Audio and Umberto, people are starting to broaden their aesthetic investigations, unleashing a kaleidoscopic miasma of revisionist history.
And of course the main reason we bring this to yr attention is that it was brought to our attention to by the ever gracious Ben B., our host with the most, our sabled innkeeper during our stay in Boulder, Co. Ben’s got awesome taste in cartoons, jazz, prog rock, noodle shops. A genuine digger from way back, with an archive that spans decades. It was a royal treat to have a gathering of vintage Animation freaks and obscure music nuts, and there were several nights, hunched over his marble counter tops, chopping garlic and green onions, as Captain Beefheart, ’70s Cop themes, and Astor Piazzolla made the scene.
This is the kind of thing we love, at Forestpunk. Straight from our kitchens to yr living rooms. A slice of life, a dose of inspiration. Being genuinely moved and inspired by the art that we find, and being quite convinced that it will do the same for you.
So do yrself a favor and seek out a copy of this film, which is quite worth a watch, and dig this soundtrack while you surf. Our mix also includes a special bedroom edit of the Generique Fin from Dessicant, who uses a wide variety of classic musique concrete moves to simulate the sensation of remembering watching a faded old VHS copy of the film (but not nearly as cozy as BoC). Just for you!