For the second in the Weekender series it’s time to revisit arguably the first post-Britpop classic, Air’s debut album Moon Safari. French duo Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel had collaborated on various projects before coming together as Air – an acronym for “Amour, Imagination, Rêve” (love, imagination, dream) – in the middle of the decade, after which they began issuing a series of one-off singles based on it seemed incidental music culled from European adult films of the 1970’s.
Using period equipment long considered obsolete in both purpose and taste – Moogs, Rhodes piano and vocoders – the pair crystalised a tastemaker-baiting formula that satisfied our shyly held guilty pleasures and took a conscious step away from the lairiness of guitars, guitars and yet more guitars.
Moon Safari, as well as nodding to disco’s long presumed extinct mechanics on Sexy Boy and Kelly, Watch The Stars also gave birth to folktronica in the gentle wash of All I Need. If arguably it was a curator’s instinct which inspired them, Godin and Dunckel’s bricolage became recognised as a chilled out companion to fellow countrymen Daft Punk’s Homework, both albums paving the way for an era that felt less cool but more unselfconsciously fun.