Air - 10,000Hz Legend - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Air - 10,000Hz Legend

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2001-05-28

French duo, Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Nicholas Godin's 1998 debut was a glorious anachronism. An analogue bubblebath of synths, saxophones, xylophones, fuzzy guitars and all manner of louche melodies it managed to be both original and utterly retro. 10,000 Hz Legend is the exact meeting point between wearying experimentation and heart-warming melancholia. There's nothing as charming as "Sexy Boy" or as generous as "You Make It Easy" but if you skip the first two tracks, which have more than a touch of Pink Floyd about them, there are a few twisted gems here. Amid the sprawling mass of shrill melody and Kraftwerkian computer voices that is "Lucky and Unhappy", the compressed trash-pop of Radio #1 (a brash cuss down of that infamous institution) and shimmering folk-funk of "The Vagabond" sung by Beck, verge on classic. As for "Sex Born Poison" sung by Japanese indie duo Buffalo Daughter, there's something about this particularly bewitching blend of cool female vocals and a Bernard Psycho Herrmann soundtrack that is out of time, beautiful and in your face. Though 10,000 Hz Legend as a whole is inconsistent and a little bit "aren't we weird?", Air have certainly crafted an inventive album worth hearing. --Reuben Dessay

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