Time now for another artist of the week, plucked straight out of the archives. As always, apologies in advance if any of this is plagiarised, or if it contains any inaccuracies.
Air are Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin, from Versailles. Together with Étienne de Crécy and Alex Gopher, who would both go on to carve out musical careers for themselves, they started making music in the early 1990s. The first Air single Modular Mix was released late in 1995, and within very little time they were a huge underground act in France, and were carving a name out for themselves in the UK as well. The British release of Modular Mix peaked at number 177 in 1996.
Their first proper studio album Moon Safari was released in 1998, and, with the help of hits such as Sexy Boy and Kelly Watch the Stars, catapulted them into the top end of the UK charts.
After spending the following year touring, they returned at the start of 2000 with the soundtrack to Sofia Coppola‘s The Virgin Suicides, which gave them their third hit album and their fourth UK top 75 single with the beautiful Playground Love.
The second studio album 10,000 Hz Legend was released in 2001, and sadly has come to be seen as a bit of a mistake. It ditched the pure electronic sounds and turned instead to more traditional rock sounds, featuring various guest artists including Beck. However, it was still a substantial hit in the UK, and its remix companion Everybody Hertz also scraped onto the charts.
Last year saw the release of possibly their most bizarre project to date, an audio book entitled City Reading, and featuring their music, accompanying Alessandro Baricco‘s surreal stories. A very entertaining idea, but of course, not that easy to listen to!
Their most recent album Talkie Walkie was released in January this year, and the only single to be released so far in the UK is Alpha Beta Gaga, from the Orange adverts, which was a minor hit. The album is absolutely stunning, though, and features several fantastic tracks. As well as potentially huge singles such as Cherry Blossom Girl and Another Day, there’s another soundtrack piece from Sofia Coppola‘s latest film Lost in Translation, and many more great tracks.