I first heard Air in the mid 1990's when they made 1997-1998 more bearable for me. That was Moon Safari. This is the album that followed.
At the time, the wife and I thought our selves very avant garde. Listening to music by French musicians of the electronica genre. Hey, we even read the Guardian newspaper on Saturdays. And we had a coffee table.
Yes. The coffee table that groaned under the weight of our extensive coffee table music collection. Coffee table music? Did I explain that concept?
Ok. You know when you go round to people's houses. No probably not. People dont go to other people's houses anymore. Not like they did in the 90's. People sit at home and interact with others through the wonders of a like button. Well before the thumb when people visited others and held non-judgmental dinner parties, people would leave books they had no intention of reading on the coffee table for the guests to peruse and assume levels of intellect and culture. Likewise, the concept passes into music. Albums that people would play when they had guests as background music. It would show the visitor that the host was cultured, stylish and a Guardian reader. Hey, they probably also had a copy of the Buena Vista Social Club somewhere and they could then sit and discuss how everything was going well with their lives.
10000 Hz Legend could have been one of those albums. Sadly, Moon Safari did too much of a damn good job and it wouldn't be until the recent Le Voyage Dans la Lune that Air would recapture the Moon Safari vibe. Legend is a little bit too much different to Safari to ease into. It's like having a new conservatory built then completely demolishing it because you want a new carpet. There are some good tracks though, Wonder Milky Bitch is very weird while Sex Born Poison adds to the feeling of odd aural eclectica present but Caramel Prisoner takes you back to the Air pool with a nice gentle splash.
It's another grower.