|Air — Twentyears (June 10th, 2016 / 2 CD)|
Air — Twentyears (June 10th, 2016 / 2 CD) ♦♦ “Twentyears does exactly what a compilation needs to; it shows how Air are arguably one of the last great singles bands, but by delving beyond the hits we are presented with an abbreviated version of a back catalogue of panache and flair. Always engaging, always different, but always Air.” (Chris Todd)
Formed: 1995 in Paris, France
Location: Paris, France |
Album release: June 10th, 2016 |
Record Label: Parlophone / PLG UK Catalog
Duration: 132:35 min |
01. La femme dargent 7:06
02. Cherry Blossom Girl 3:39
03. Kelly Watch The Stars 3:45
04. Playground Love (with Gordon Tracks) 3:32
05. Sexy Boy 4:58
06. Venus 4:04
07. All I Need 4:28
08. Alpha Beta Gaga (Single Edit) 3:03
09. Moon Fever 3:34
10. Dont Be Light (feat. Beck Hansen) 6:18
11. How Does It Make You Feel 4:37
12. Once Upon a Time 5:03
13. Alone in Kyoto 4:51
14. Talisman 4:16
15. Run 4:12
16. Le soleil est pres de moi 4:53
17. Land Me (feat. Guillemette Foucard) 4:33
18. Planet Vega 5:22
19. Flowerhead 5:36
20. Crickets 3:32
21. The Duelist (feat.Charlotte Gainsbourg & Jarvis Cocker) 4:40
22. High Point 4:03
23. Au fond du reve dore 2:01
24. Danger Zone 3:58
25. Indian Summer 6:02
26. The Way You Look Tonight 3:46
27. Roger Song 2:45
28. Jai dormi sous leau (BBC Session 1998) 4:11
29. Remember (David Whitaker Version) 2:21
30. Trente millions damis (Live KCRW 98) 4:34
31. Adis Abebah (From the Soundtrack of Quartier Lointain) 2:52
℗ 2016 Aircheology and Parlophone / Warner Music France, a Warner Music Group Company
Notes: Deluxe LP expected 22nd July
♦ Best of compilation spanning 20 years of French electro legends Air.
♦ The deluxe LP comes in a 4 panel metallic paper gatefold sleeve with two randomly coloured LPs, triple CD that also includes 9 tracks of Air remixes of Money Mark, MGMT, Beck, Bowie, Neneh Cherry etc, and a full colour poster♦ Air have been one of the most iconic French acts of the last two decades, with worldwide hits that have shaped the forefront of modern electronica, calling on various styles and constantly crossing genre barriers, re–shaping the rules as they go. Boasting eight incredible studio albums and live shows that few can match in technical ability, this new compilation album will feature all the greatest hits of the past twenty years. ♦ Featuring hits such as ‘All I Need’, ‘Sexy Boy’ and ‘Kelly Watch The Stars’ this album is the perfect showcase to the incredible downtempo and psychedelic Zen that is Air, and with rare recordings that includes live sessions to truly encapsulate the prowess of their on stage presence.
♦ Twenty years after their international debut, the French multi–platinum selling band Air, consisting of Nicolas Godin and Jean–Benoît Dunckel, will release their first anthology on June 10. Available as a 2CD, the first disc contains 17 tracks selected by the band and the second disc gathers 14 rare and unreleased tracks.Review
By Chris Todd / 08 JUNE 2016, 14:20 BST / SCORE: 9
♦ Initially lumped in with the trip hop scene of the late 90s, Nicolas Godin and Jean–Benoît Dunckel — otherwise known as French duo Air — soon outgrew that insular scene.
♦ The ubiquity of their second album, 1998’s Moon Safari, resulted in them playing an accidental part of the so called ‘chill out’ scene, an excuse for record labels to release compilations of slow, vaguely electronic tracks for people who, like them, had never been to Café del Mar but would one day love to (also see “At The River” by Groove Armada).
♦ Air could have easily have continued down this path. “Sexy Boy”, “All I Need, La Femme D’arent” were louche, sophisticated tracks, very adult, and hit a chord, be it with pop lovers or indie fans, and Moon Safari also doubled up as a great come–down album. But the duo took a notable left–turn with their follow up, 2001’s 10 000 Hz Legend, a wilfully uncommercial follow–up where they amped up the cinematic element of their sound, but also injected krautrock and proggy elements into their particular brand of heartbroken downbeat disco, coming up with a career highpoint, albeit a massively underrated one, in the process.
♦ The urgent psychedelic freak out of “Don’t Be Light” featuring a cameo from Beck, whose band collaborate with Air on the album is their most rockist moment, Beck fans will note the explicit influence of Air on his 2002 classic Sea Change. “How Does It Make You Feel”, a yearning piece of smoky lust with whispered, computerised vocals and sublime multi–tracked harmonies pinched straight from 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love” is absolutely essential, even ending with a joke from this ever poker faced duo. The out of breath voice asks “how does this make you feel?” to which an equally computerised female voice responds ‘I really think you should give up smoking”.
♦ Their Talkie Walkie album of 2004 and Pocket Symphony three years later continued with fusion of pop and soundtrack influences, a continuation of their work composing the soundtrack to Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides, with the former in particular referencing their dalliance with commercial pop. “Cherry Blossom Girl” is honey in musical form and the pitched up vocal enhancements of “Run” showcase a knack of vocal harmonising that would make Brian Wilson proud, but backed by really bizarre and endlessly fascinating music. Among so many wonderful songs, this proves to be their key track.
♦ The ‘Super Deluxe’ edition of the Twentyears compilation adds another two CDs’ worth of material, the second being a collection of session tracks, b–sides and rarities which show their attention to detail went far beyond the albums. The seductive glamour of “The Duellist” is a wonderful collaboration between themselves, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jarvis Cocker, who indulges his Scott Walker obsession brilliantly.“Indian Summer” adds sitar to their synth melodrama in a moment of pure funk, while the David Whitaker version of one of the finest tracks from Moon Safari, “Remember”, replaces all the percussion with a lavish string section which cannot fail to make the listener swoon.
♦ The final CD collects their remix work and shows how their music is so suited to other artists. Their mix of “Kootchi” by Neneh Cherry shows off a tragic missed opportunity as the two artists complement each other so well, while their mixes of “Home” by Depeche Mode and “A Better Future” by David Bowie are also lessons in how to stamp your own sound on an artist. All are masterful remixes.
♦ Twentyears does exactly what a compilation needs to; it shows how Air are arguably one of the last great singles bands, but by delving beyond the hits we are presented with an abbreviated version of a back catalogue of panache and flair. Always engaging, always different, but always Air. ♦ http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/Biography
♦ With a sensual, atmospheric sound inspired by Burt Bacharach and Brian Wilson as well as disco, synthesizer maestros Tomita, Jean–Michel Jarre, and Vangelis, new wave, and obscure Italian film soundtracks, Air may have been outliers in the late–‘90s electronica boom, but they became one of the most influential electronic acts of the 2000s and beyond. Despite gaining quick entrance into the dance community (through releases for Source and Mo’ Wax), Air’s 1998 debut album, Moon Safari, charted a light — well, airy — course along soundscapes composed with melody lines by Moog and Rhodes, not Roland and Yamaha. The presence of several female vocalists, an equipment list whose number of pieces stretched into the dozens, and a Baroque tuba solo on one track — all of this conspired to make Air more of a happening in the living room than the dancefloor. Though Nicolas Godin and Jean–Benoît Dunckel both grew up in Versailles, the two didn’t meet until they began studying at the same college. Dunckel, who had studied at the Conservatoire in Paris, played in an alternative band named Orange. One of Dunckel’s bandmates, Alex Gopher, introduced Godin into the lineup. While Gopher himself departed (later to record for the Solid label), Dunckel and Godin continued on, becoming Air by 1995. During 1996–1997, the duo released singles on Britain’s Mo’ Wax (“Modular”) and the domestic Source label (“Casanova 70,” “Le Soleil Est Prés de Moi”). Though Air often evinced the same ‘60s Continental charm as Dimitri from Paris — due no doubt to the influence of Serge Gainsbourg — the duo had little in common musically with other acts (Daft Punk) in the wave of French electronica lapping at the shores of Britain and America during 1997. That same year, Air remixed Depeche Mode and Neneh Cherry and joined French musique concrète popster Jean–Jacques Perrey for a track on the Source compilation Sourcelab, Vol. 3. Signed to Virgin, Air released their debut album, Moon Safari, in early 1998. The singles “Sexy Boy” and “Kelly Watch the Stars” became moderate hits in Britain and earned airplay on MTV. Later that year, Godin and Dunckel mounted an ambitious tour throughout Europe and America, though they had originally decided to forego live appearances. Their early singles were collected in 1999 under the title Premiers Symptomes; the duo’s soundtrack to the Sofia Coppola film The Virgin Suicides followed in early 2000. Air’s second studio effort, 10,000 Hz Legend, appeared in spring 2001 with a subsequent tour of the U.S., but critics and fans alike didn’t appreciate the darker, more experimental direction. They bridged the gap between the pop of Moon Safari and the experimentalism of 10,000 Hz Legend with their 2004 release, Talkie Walkie. Along with touring in support of that album, the pair remained busy making music in 2005 and 2006: they collaborated, along with Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker and the Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, on Charlotte Gainsbourg’s album 5:55, and Dunckel released a solo album as Darkel. Cocker and Hannon also appeared on Air’s fourth album, Pocket Symphony, which was released in early 2007. On one leg of the band’s Pocket Symphony tour in 2008, the duo performed with just longtime collaborator and drummer Joey Waronker as their backing band. They kept this lineup for their next album, 2009’s Love 2, which marked Air’s first self–produced work and featured a more streamlined sound than some of their previous music. Dunckel and Godin went in a very different direction for their next album, which was based on an original score they created for the 1902 classic silent film Le Voyage Dans la Lune. The pair created the score in less than a month, working with collaborators such as Au Revoir Simone and Beach House’s Victoria LeGrand, then expanded it into a full–length album that was released early in 2012. Later in the 2010s, Dunckel further established himself as a composer for film, embarked on with New Young Pony Club’s Lou Hayter (as Tomorrow’s World) and Bang Gang’s Bardi Jóhannsson (as Starwalker), and returned to his Darkel project with 2015’s lavish The Man of Sorrow EP. The duo returned in 2016 with a career–spanning compilation album titled Twentyears. ~ John Bush♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
|Air — Twentyears (June 10th, 2016 / 2 CD)|