08.03.2010, Words by Charlie Jones


These days you’d be hard pressed to find an electronic band that doesn’t share the stage with the infamous white Mac book. So thank god for AIR. Still, after 15 years, creating seductively synthesised sounds without ever compromising their creative integrity. Even with the release of Love 2, their sixth studio album; the Gallic pair shows no sign of slowing down.

Tonight London’s Roundhouse was to be the destination for the closing date of their two month European jaunt. Proving to be veterans in their field the night ended as it began; with two endearing Frenchmen performing so effortlessly that it was as though they were hardly trying at all. So coolly unconcerned with their surroundings, yet so engrossed in their combined creation, Air played uninhibited, as if to an empty room. They were as calm and collected as the astral music that they create. Leaning heavily on vocoders, the crowd was caressed by the sexy-as-hell, yet androgynous voice created by Nicolas Godin, further complimented by the celestial light show that visually punctuated the songs.

The show was heavily orchestrated around the Krautrock-ish pace of the self-produced Love 2, their most personal offering since debut Moon Safari. The ethereal ‘So Light Is Her Footfall’ was followed by the equally enchanting ‘Love’, ‘Tropical Disease’, ‘Be a Bee’ and ‘Heaven’s Light’. All the while the atmospheric sounds of Moon Safari weaved in between with; languid melody ‘Remember’ helping begin the show followed by well-known

‘Kelly Watch the Stars’ and closer ‘Sexy Boy’; a song that most definitely left the audience reeling for more.
The quality of craftsmanship was apparent as the two focused on their respective instruments; Godin on the guitar and Dunckel on the keyboard, but it was the vocal harmonies that really proved how well they worked together. The gems of the night included 1999’s J’ai Dormis Sous L’eau and 2001’s Radian; a live version which completely transformed a once adequate background song into a brilliant melody lead by haunting harps and floating flutes. It was then up to the guitarist with the winning smile Nicolas Godin to dedicate favourite ‘Cherry Blossom Girl’ to ‘all the lovers of the world’. As the two sang together it was often difficult to distinguish Godin’s voice from Dunckel’s and vice versa.
Air at the Roundhouse was an intoxicating affair in which blissed-out saccharine electronica reverberated down the ear canal and in less than two hours the spectacle was over. So charming were these Frenchmen that a substantial amount of time was stolen from me without ever having realised it. It was a night of alchemy and nonchalance.

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