- Electronic music
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Play Moon Safari
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Two students of astrophysics and architecture walk into a bar on the moon. This sounds like the beginning of a joke — but in the waning light of the 20th century, it really happened, leaving a serious imprint on pop culture.
On January 16th 1998, Air released Moon Safari, an album which catapulted Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel to the uppermost rung of electronic music’s ladder. Here were two 20-somethings with just a single prior EP under their belts, yet they exuded on tape the confidence and pedigree of seasoned pros. Godin and Dunckel were blessed with the ability to intuit pop songcraft which could, and did, captivate mass media: Moon Safari contains a universe. Today, the record’s legacy is canonical, but at the time of release, its multi-million success was far from assured.
Says Dunckel: « We were a duo doing some electronic thing, dreaming of selling 10,000 copies and being recognised by other musicians as cool. Then suddenly, we met the world. »
In no time at all, Air’s downtempo influence was easy to detect all around. Through Moon Safari, Air transfixed some of the great visionaries of the late 20th century — David Bowie, Madonna, Beck — as well as influencing preeminent aesthetes of the incoming age — including Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kevin Parker and Sofia Coppola, whose creative relationship with Air became as synergetic as that of Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch (another fan).
Moon Safari birthed hit singles in “Kelly Watch The Stars,” “All I Need” and “Sexy Boy”, shifted million copies around the world, and pushed Air into headline contention at banner festivals.
25 years on, it’s not hard to alight upon why “Moon Safari” has stood the test of time.
It’s a mood you want to live inside of forever. It’s a revelation. It’s conversation pit music for a better future.
Dunckel summarises his own album as “a deep, universal spell, full of love and mystery.”
“To me,” Godin concludes, “Moon Safari is perfect.”
In 2024, AIR perform “Moon Safari” live for the first time ever