ⓘ Air (band)

Air (band)

ⓘ Air (band)

Air are a French music duo from Versailles, consisting of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel.

Airs critically acclaimed debut album, Moon Safari, including the track "Sexy Boy," was an international success in 1998. Its follow-up, The Virgin Suicides, was the score to Sofia Coppolas first movie of the same name. The band has since released the albums 10 000 Hz Legend, Talkie Walkie, Pocket Symphony, Love 2, Le voyage dans la lune and Music for Museum.


1.1. History Formation

Nicolas Godin studied architecture at the Ecole nationale superieure darchitecture de Versailles, and Jean-Benoit Dunckel studied mathematics, before forming a band in 1995. Before founding Air, Dunckel and Godin played together in the band Orange with others such as Alex Gopher, Xavier Jamaux and Jean de Reydellet. The former two subsequently contributed to remixes of tracks recorded by Air.

Initially, Godin worked alone, recording a demo with members of Funkadelic as his backing band before releasing his first entirely solo effort, "Modular Mix", which featured production by Etienne de Crecy.


1.2. History Career

After making several remixes for other acts in the first half of the 1990s, Air recorded its first EP, Premiers Symptomes, in 1995. The band released its first album, Moon Safari, in 1998. The first single, "Sexy Boy", was heavily played on alternative radio stations. The album received universal acclaim and became an international success. In 2000, Air composed the score The Virgin Suicides to Sofia Coppolas debut film of the same name, and the score to Georges Melies Le Voyage Dans La Lune. In the 2000s, Dunckel & Godin released four studio albums, including 10 000 Hz Legend 2001, Talkie Walkie 2004, Pocket Symphony 2007, and Love 2 2009.


1.3. History Other works

Air has often collaborated with Coppola. Air drummer and former Redd Kross member Brian Reitzell put together the soundtrack to 2003s Lost in Translation, including one original contribution by Air titled "Alone in Kyoto". The soundtrack for Coppolas October 2006 film Marie Antoinette featured a track by Air "Il Secondo Giorno". Air wrote and played the music of the album 5:55 by Anglo-French actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, which was released in August 2006. Air has recorded a DJ mix album, Late Night Tales: Air, for Azuli Records Late Night Tales series. The release was initially scheduled for October 2005, but was delayed several times. It finally was released, complete with a new sleeve design, in September 2006. Darkel, a solo album by Dunckel, was released that same year.

City Reading Tre Storie Western 2003 started as an idea for a collaboration with contemporary Italian writer Alessandro Baricco, known for his unusual characterizations and lyrical, poetic style. Baricco contacted Air in summer 2002 with the idea to marry narration of texts from his book City with live original musical accompaniment. The performance premiered live in November 2002 at Romes Teatro Valle, and was deemed such a success that both parties resolved to make a full studio recording that resulted in the album.


1.4. History Influences and musical style

Air is associated with a variety of musical styles: electronica, space pop, dream pop, progressive rock, downtempo, chillout, trip hop, ambient, electronic pop, and space rock

Dunckel grew up listening to both classical music and electronic music, especially Kraftwerk. Next, he took an interest in what he called the "English dark rock" of Siouxsie and the Banshees and Joy Division, while being a fan of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed. Brian Eno and Cluster were two of the electronic acts who inspired him the most. He cited among his favorite artists: Maurice Ravel for classical music, François de Roubaix for music soundtracks and Siouxsie and the Banshees for pop music. Dunckel shared with Godin a special liking for the music of Michel Legrand, Philip Glass and Grace Jones. During his childhood, Godin was fascinated by the Beatles before later discovering the soul of Sly and the Family Stone. The duo were influenced by progressive rock pioneers Pink Floyd.

Air uses many of its studio instruments on stage, where their ability to improvise is more clearly highlighted. The band performs the well-known tracks from the albums live as extended or altered versions. Air often collaborates both in the studio and live, with artists like Beth Hirsch Moon Safari, Françoise Hardy "Jeanne", Jean-Jacques Perrey "Cosmic Bird", Gordon Tracks "Playground Love" and "Easy Going Woman" – Gordon Tracks is a pseudonym of the French singer Thomas Mars from Phoenix, Beck 10 000 Hz Legend, Jean-Michel Jarre Close Your Eyes from Jarres Electronica 1: The Time Machine, as well as on the 2004 tour with Dave Palmer and on the 2007 tour with drummer Earl Harvin, Vincent Taurelle and Steve Jones.


2. Discography

  • Talkie Walkie 2004
  • Love 2 2009
  • Pocket Symphony 2007
  • 10 000 Hz Legend 2001
  • Le Voyage Dans La Lune 2012
  • Moon Safari 1998

Soundtrack albums:

  • The Virgin Suicides 2000
  • Music for Museum 2014

Extended plays:

  • Premiers Symptomes 1997

Collaborative albums:

  • City Reading Tre Storie Western 2003

Mix and remix albums:

  • Late Night Tales 2006
  • Everybody Hertz 2002

Compilation albums:

  • Twentyears 2016
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