The French band Air is a duet composed by Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunkel. Both were brought up in Versailles and none of them had ever seriously thought about a music career till the university period. Godin took up the studying of architecture while Dunkel committed himself to mathematics and physics. However, the day they met changed the course of their future lives. Their first musical experience was participation in a student band called Orange, which appeared a short-time engagement. Jean and Nicolas realized soon that they were a perfect match in musical terms and that formation of a duet was the best opportunity for them. After making up Air in 1995, the musicians began recording singles at once. Their first practices were held right in home conditions. The selection of instruments was very limited and unsophisticated. It was mainly based on a couple of second-hand synthesizers with vocals and guitars serving only as addition to their sounding. The musicians admit that they could not afford having anything exquisite or enhanced due to the traditional student financial hardships.
The very first effort by the French formation, Premiers Symptômes, consisting of five tracks, draw the attention of critics and fascinated listeners. It was released in 1997 and followed in 1998 by the release of the duet’s debut long player. That was a very impressive album under the title Moon Safari. It featured the young band’s first massive hits like Sexy Boy, and Kelly, Watch The Stars. It happened so that by the end of the twentieth century, Air managed to restore the interest to the electronic music of the seventies. The easily recognizable old-fashioned sounding became the French duet’s trademark. However, in the process of creating the subsequent albums, the musicians felt confident in experimenting with other trends and even tried to work with psychedelic themes similar to those of Pink Floyd. Their concerts soon turned into highly anticipated shows because the members of the tandem liked to improvise on the stage, which made their songs always new and unexpected. Nevertheless, it was not a short time before the musicians agreed to sink into concert activities. Air had recorded a number of efforts before they finally gave their first gig.
Air worked out an original approach to the use of real instruments. First of all, they have never worked with the same musicians for the making of two different albums. Secondly, they have never used one and the same instrument on two albums, no matter how good it sounded on the first effort. In 2000, The Virgin Suicides motion picture hit the screens, supported by the soundtrack from Air. In spite of all the predictions made by the duet’s producers, this work brought the musicians even greater fame. In a year, Air released their second long player, 10,000hz Legend. Just like its followers, Talkie Walkie (2004), and Pocket Symphony (2007), this studio work was a very good seller. For fifteen years now, Air is associated with the best samples of experimental electronic music having an established and unique style. Their subsequent album, Love 2, released in 2009, confirmed it once again.