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Premiers Symptomes  Hear it Now

RS: 3.5of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 4of 5 Stars


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When a record company cranks out old experiments by a new band after its splashy debut, it usually means profit is taking precedence over art. But Air's Premiers Symptomes, a reissued EP collection of the Parisian pair's first three singles now expanded to seven tracks, is nearly as sublime as 1998's Moon Safari. Almost every trademark of Air's Jean Benoit Dunckel and Nicolas Godin is here: otherworldly analog synths, melodic bass lines, jazzy electric-piano tinkles, relaxed tempos, melancholy horns and a hushed simplicity that reaches back to classic French minimalist Erik Satie by way of Burt Bacharach's swingin'-Sixties lounge pop. "Casanova 70" references the beatbox soul of Timmy Thomas' "Why Can't We Live Together," while the final folky moments of "Les Professionnels" provide a beautiful blueprint for Moon Safari's "All I Need." Until the duo's soundtrack for Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides drops early next year, Premiers Symptomes should provide further evidence of why Air's sonic effervescence is such a gas. (RS 820)


(Posted: Sep 2, 1999)


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