Album Review: Air — Moon Safari 10th Anniversary Edition
At the very tail-end of the 20th century, Air — the duo of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel — released their debut, Moon Safari. Their blend of dance, exotica, rock and atmospheric(!) arrangements was innovative in ’98, and sounds every bit as fresh today, on this, the Moon Safari 10th Anniversary Edition.
Moon Safari isn’t all Moogs and vocoders; the disc is awash in “real” instruments, and the vocals — provided by a cast of guest stars, setting the template for later groups like Zero 7 — serve as an instrument themselves.
Two bonus discs add to the value of the 10th Anniversary reissue. The remixes are more thoughtful than the standard throw-some-drum-samples-on-it approach, and the live cuts — especially the surprising live “Kelly Watch the Stars” shows that Air could (and did) rock out onstage when they wanted to. The DVD disc includes the long-out-of-print documentary about the group, Eating, Sleeping, Waiting & Playing plus four music videos and a few other goodies.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.