Ah, December. For some of us, this is the one month of the year where we thrive the most. Finals are finished on time, we have time to enjoy the colder weather, see friends and family, and get ready for the upcoming holiday festivities; we are free to do as we wish. I envy those of us, because for the other some of us, school drags on into infinity and though we want to go have fun and enjoy the season, we end up spending all day indoors finishing projects and ultimately feeling really sad for no apparent reason.
I love December because I love the Canadian winters we have here (crazy as that sounds), and when school is finally over, it’s a chance for me to unwind and get into the holiday spirit. I also love the six weeks I get for vacation, which I view as an opportunity to focus on myself and go through some type of metamorphosis. Winter is an opportunity to change and reemerge anew.
On the subject of change, I thought I would present to you an album that has become very dear to my heart in the last month or so. For those of you who aren’t already familiar with the band Air, they’re an electronic powerhouse from Versailles, France comprising of two members: Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel. Their 2001 release, 10 000 Hz Legend, has been one of the lone forces to push me through finals and help inspire me to push again for change in my life. Not only that, but it’s an ingeniously crafted piece of work and I want to share it will all of you lovely babes, as a changeup from the Christmas carols playing anywhere possible.
Air are known for their ambient approach to electronic music, making expansive and beautiful melodies but keeping them calm, for the most part. This album reflects a reach towards the industrial, the powerful, the energetic, kinetic surge personified in sound.
10 000 Hz Legend marks a change-up in Air’s typical approach to sound by inviting other influences from different branches of electronic music, namely Electroacoustics. Their opening track has a very Daphne Oram feel to it, borrowing from her song “Tumblewash” to incorporate into the rolling rhythm of the song. The duo also play around with uglier sound combinations and melodies to add a different feeling to the tracks, but don’t completely discard their reputation for beautiful melodies and expansive sound layering.
The entire album changes as you listen deeper into it, in fact. Each song is an entirely different piece from the preceding one, but they all interconnect with each other flawlessly and each time you hear the one-hour long recording, you are guaranteed to have a different listening experience, as you will most likely notice something you didn’t before, or have a different perception of it, without even realizing so.
I would go more into individual tracks, but I truly feel that this album is a listening journey you must embark on alone, without much previous knowledge of the flavours and feelings of the LP. Be surprised. Submerge yourself in the metal lake of this release. Pick up on the little subtleties. Do this entirely on your own, and you’ll have your own sound experience and understand why this is an album that cannot be matched with many words. Maybe it will inspire a push for change in you, too.
Keep an ear out for: “Radio #1”, “Vagabond” (it features Beck!), “Don’t be Light”, and “Lucky and Unhappy”
Happy coasting and I will see you in the New Year,