“Om or Draag?” That’s the question overheating the water cooler as René Laloux’s celebrated sci-fi animation ‘La Planète Sauvage (Fantastic Planet)’ from 1973 is overhauled with a re-imagined soundtrack by electronic modernists Stealing Sheep and legendary sound innovators The Radiophonic Workshop.
‘La Planète Sauvage’ follows the relationship between the small human-like Oms and their much larger blue-skinned oppressors, the Draags, who rule the planet of Ygam.
It’s a real pre-Avatar conundrum that Stealing Sheep, with the help of Bob Earland, Dick Mills and Roger Limb from the Radiophonic Workshop, unravel creating an ethereal excursion that’s narrated by Roger Limb; like a futuristic Martin Denny, or Dr Who gone ambient techno, with a hint of Forbidden Planet 50 years on. It’s an analogue swirl set in an off-world paradise; a field recording from the future.
“It was a natural assignation…; Stealing Sheep are a unique trio who have a rather wonderful and instinctive feel for the harmonies and magical traditions of art-pop. We are, in effect, art electronica, our music based on natural and unnatural sounds, fields and technologies, past and present. It seemed utterly natural to bring these traditions together in the live re-scoring ‘La Planète Sauvage’, itself, a wonderful piece of psychedelic folk animation. The result was a rather magical moment for us all, that, thank goodness, we were able to capture and re-live” The Radiophonic Workshop
Without doubt the encounter has influenced the Liverpool trio’s sound and their album ‘Big Wows’ that followed in 2019.
Blending the formidable psych-rock and pop of Stealing Sheep with the pioneering electronic experiments of the Radiophonic Workshop, ‘La Planète Sauvage’ is a thing of ambient beauty punctuated with electronic earworms that switches from intensely ominous to otherworldly dream like moments.