Air, the French duo of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel, released their first EP Premiers Symptômes two decades ago in 1997. In the time since they have become one of the most distinctive bands in electronic music today, producing a series of albums starting with 1998’s Moon Safari which have served to carve out a unique space in the genre where downtempo electronica and vintage pop music meet to create a sound that is all their own. In celebration of the milestone, the band is releasing a compilation, Twentyears, compiling some of their most popular songs along with rarities, previously unreleased tracks, and a disc of the band’s remixes for other artists. Other than a couple of festival dates last year, the band hasn’t played in the US since 2010, but touring for the anniversary has finally brought them back, including a stop this past week at the Strathmore in Bethesda.
Loungy European electronica with a retro vibe.
Why You Should Care:
French duo Air celebrates two decades of laid-back electronica this year with the release of the aptly-named Twentyyears, a three-disc compilation of tracks spanning from across their career. Here in the US, many listeners first became aware of the band with their soundtrack for the movie The Virgin Suicides, released in 2000. "Playground Love," which features Gordon Tracks (the pseudonym of Phoenix singer Thomas Mars) guesting on vocals, opened the album and served as its musical centerpiece.
The band last toured the US in 2010 for their album Love 2, but they're set to make their return this weekend at Governor's Ball in NYC, followed by a brief run of dates. They'll be in the DC area on Tuesday, June 6th at the Strathmore in Bethesda, for which tickets are still available.