Air is an influential French electronic music duo formed in 1995 and composed of Nicolas Godin and Jean-BenoÃ®t Dunckel. The group has evolved over its 25 years, proving there's no limit to their skills and interweaving genres.
Godin and Dunckel both grew up in Versailles, a commune in western France, where they crossed paths in their teens. The two quickly realized that they had similar tastes in music, and became lifelong friends. In the early 1990s, both Godin and Dunckel began to pursue their individual music careers. In 1995, the two decided to collaborate to form Air.
The duoâ€™s sound was heavily influenced by vintage analogue synthesizers and theremin. Their debut album, Moon Safari, was released through Virgin Records in 1998 and is considered to be a world classic. Featuring melodic yet dreamy compositions, this album captivated listeners around the globe. It was a major leap for Air, earning them international recognition and airplay on major networks such as BBC Radio 1. The album propelled the duo to fame and spurred the term â€œFrench Touchâ€ into existence.
Following the success of their debut album, Air released Talkie Walkie in 2004. An excerpt from Talkie Walkie was famously used in Sofia Coppolaâ€™s Oscar-winning movie, Lost in Translation. Popular tracks from this album include â€œCherry Blossom Girlâ€, â€œAlone in Kyotoâ€, and â€œSurfing on a Rocketâ€. Air saw similar success with their 2006 album Pocket Symphony, which was nominated for a Grammy.
The duo subsequently took the 2010s decade off to pursue individual projects, create soundtracks for various movies, and do remixes for other artists. In 2019, they broke their hiatus and returned with Le voyage Dans la Lune. The album was heralded as one of their most ambitious and innovative projects.
Throughout their entire career, Godin and Dunckel have shown tireless energy in harnessing both their vast talent and unique talents. Notoriously private and protective of their art, the duo has never played live concerts, which makes their albums even more precious.
Without question, Air will go down in history as one of the most influential electronic duo of all time. Their influence can be witnessed in todayâ€™s music landscape, ranging from the indie dream-pop genre all the way to hip hop and experimental music. Their loyal fan base speaks volume of their sound and legacy, making them a timeless classic.