Starwalker - Starwalker

by Brian Lange. Rating:8 Release Date:2016-04-01

Air will absolutely be the first band you think of when listening to Starwalker. The reason is simple.  JB Dunckel consists of 50 per cent of this group along with Bardi Johannsson. If you are unfamiliar with those names, JB is one of Air’s founding members and Bardi comes from a group called Bang Gang (perhaps not what you’re thinking).

This record might be summed up from the absolutely ridiculous and almost comical album cover that depicts the two bandmembers dressed all in black, on a melancholy AIRbrushed (pun intended) beach with darkness surrounding them, posing stoically as if they are on the cover of a pulp romance novel. The intellectual in you will wonder if this is perhaps ironic. Even with the brush style typeface used for the “Starwalker” in the corner with the T resembling a glistening star.. this can’t be serious, right?  An initial listen to this record will almost confirm it’s absurdity.  Note: almost. 

It immediately does come off as a little cheesy and over the top dreampoppy, but when you think back to AIR, this is not that much of a departure.  JB in his own right, is immensely talented and surely an AIR side-project would not be one in passing.  The record makes solid use of the vocoder, providing that “in the air dreamlike” quality.  The electronic treatment harkens back to a Daft Punk Discovery-era feel.  In fact, upon referencing these late 90s projects, this record could very well have come straight out of that era. 

While this may not be as strong as Discovery or Moon Safari, it does deserve mention with those works.  Perhaps this could even be B-sides from either one of those bands for all we know. 

It is still impossible to tell if the overall theme or vibe of this record is meant to be taken seriously.  It’s really not bad.  As a man in my mid-30s I cannot speak for the teenage females of the world and whatever they are listening to, but I imagine the target demographic would be them; something to listen to on your bed, hands under your chin, hearts floating out of your head, as you gaze upon your poster of Fabio. 

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