Air - Moon Safari 10 Year Anniversary Edition
Back in 1997, a pair of Frenchmen wearing robot masks were reshaping dance music with their debut album Discovery. The following year, another Gallic duo by the name of Air followed by example, only approaching the dancefloor with a bit more restraint.
The first disc is a reissue of debut Moon Safari in its entirety, opening with the over-long haze of La Femme d'Argent which may cause doubters to stand firm and write the album off as 'dinner party' music. No sooner is it over that we're treated to the brooding electronica of Sexy Boy though, and this classic proves that the French can do sexy even when they're aiming for the club charts. Kelly Watch the Stars and Remember are vocoder gold while two collaborations with vocalist Beth Hirsch, All I Need being the infinitely superior one, add a touch of class and pre-date Sia's numerous contributions with the less adventurous Zero 7. The latter half of the album does conjure up the image of thirtysomethings chugging outrageously expensive wine in a middle-class kitchen but the cinematic ambience makes that visual slightly less dull.
Disc two consists of remixes, live versions and tracks that didn't make the cut. The strings on David Whitaker's version of Remember add some overblown grandeur while live BBC session tracks completely transform Sexy Boy and Kelly Watch the Stars, the latter going down an unexpected punk route. Bossa is a demo from 1996 that starts off sounding like Sexy Boy with added drones and bleeps, only to transform into what eventually became You Make It Easy, while the other 'new' tracks - J'ai Dormi Sous L'Eau and Mabrouk - are distinctly average fare, falling into the 'too chilled for their own good' category.
A third disc, a DVD featuring documentary footage and other tracks, was not included in this promo package.