Artist Details

Air

More apt to cite stately rock paragons Burt Bacharach and Brian Wilson as their inspirations than Derrick May or Aphex Twin, the French duo Air gained inclusion into the late-'90s electronica surge due chiefly to the labels their recordings appeared on, not the actual music they produced. Their sound, a variant of the classic disco sound coaxed into a relaxing Prozac vision of the late '70s, looked back to a variety of phenomena from the period -- synthesizer maestros Tomita, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Vangelis, new wave music of the non-spiky variety, and obscure Italian film soundtracks. 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.