Sunday, 16 October 2011

Walking through the Air

With new music developing at an incredible rate (for various reason which I will discuss some other time) it becomes important to cast our minds back to the 'tunes' of yesteryear. It amazes me when I speak about artists such as 'Massive Attack', 'Portishead', 'Everything But the Girl', or 'Hall and Oates' that all I get back is 'who?' 'erm?' er?' and 'Oh Yeah thats the tune from 'House'. So lets kick off with a classic. Air: Moon Safari.

The year is 1998 and home improvement, interior design shows and art galleries  are about to get their best soundtrack ever. Moon Safari is the first album from french band and the album reeks of polished Franco synth emanating from the end of the 20th century electro-pop movement. The album is an absolute standard and you may be surprised how much of it you have already heard, samples of it cropping up everywhere from Grand Designs to children's television shows and everything in between. A very nineties album indeed, its got lots of potential as a soundtrack to life and as provider of one or two absolutely essential tunes to have in your library.

La Femme d’argent’, the first track, is instantly the most recognisable and will hopefully ring a few bells, it’s also on my top ten Mupping tracks of all time, get very, very comfortable for this one and it will take you to another level of enjoyment, great on your own or with one or two like minded people and perfect with a J.

Sexy Boy’ rolls up on beautifully constructed synth work and really shows what you can get out of a Korg with love and attention, try it with your headphones on when walking down the street and wishing your life was like a French movie. Got a nice little edge to it. 

All I Need’ sound harsh at the beginning but floats you into a gentle guitar driven melody with the beautifully simple tones of Beth Hirsch (Who crops up on a Jakatta single ‘one fine day’ also worth checking out, Jakatta did the remix on the American Beauty soundtrack which you’ll recognise the second you hear ‘it’). Lovely track, brings back the chill, great for a summers day particularly the nice little keyboard riff at the end.

Kelly watch the stars’ is so French electro-pop it nearly ended up defining the genre and is thought of something as a standard of the era. Enjoy as you see fit, its a little fun and hippy dippy niceness without any seriousness.

Talisman’ starts deep, beautifully deep, floating down a slow slow river kind of deep. Fall into this one, it’s got great emotion and a soul all its own. It gets grander and grander as it layers the score with orchestral strings, lifting you off the river until you’re flying through blinding sunlight and cloud hoping with every atom in your body.

Remember' comes right back in on the electro-pop circuit whilst it might sound harsh a first develops a charm all its own when you give it a bit of breathing space. Definitely twisty in places but worth it for the complexity it offers.

You Make It Easy’ brings back Beth Hirsch again and is gentle and easy listening, with nice seeing-the-world-from-afar kind of feel to it, again it sounds like the soundtrack to a French film and oozes cinematic potential.

‘Ce martin la’ will at first sound strange and unfamiliar but then a strange sense of recognition will arise with the chord structure, by the time the brass section come in you’ll probably be going ‘oh it’s that track!’ I know I was. A definitive summer tune if there ever was one, it says it all, long winding roads to nowhere and hours spent aimlessly cruising the forgotten countryside in a convertible with no end to the day in sight. One of those really perfect tracks.

‘New Star in the Sky’ has a wistful delicacy to it, floating in orbit around some beautiful world very gently taking in the beauty of the view and the comforting weightless momentum. Potentially a great Mup track but requires a very delicate touch, for as we know space is deep on many levels.

‘Le Voyage de Penelope’ is defined by its dirty synth guitar riff, characterising the song with a delightfully sultry edge to it. Its sounds lonely at the end of the album but acts as the platform to Air’s later works.

Definitely an album to get stuck into, sorry I couldn't find good links for all the songs, beg or borrow to get your hands on this one and enjoy!

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