Listen: Sexy Boy / Air AirSexy.mp3
Listen: Kelly Watch The Stars / Air AirKelly.mp3
Listen: Radio #1 / Air AirRadio.mp3
Marc Lessner at Soul Trader in London was a most dependable source when it came to the latest, greatest dance and club releases back in the late 90′s. It was Marc who insisted I pay attention to Air, and gave me their first UK EP, LE SOLEIL EST PRESCE MOI. Despite a French aversion resulting from a few bad trips to Paris, I found Air irresistable. ‘Modular’ on Mo Wax followed and then came ‘Sexy Boy’, with an intro riff shockingly similar to New Math’s ‘They Walk Among You’, which was played down the phone to me by Howard quite early. But it was indeed the song’s similarity to Pink Floyd’s ‘Julia Dream’ that really grabbed my interest. All these years later, and I still don’t think I’ve even heard one mention of Pink Floyd when it comes to Air. Oh, and I do cherish my promo only UK single pictured above, one of many gems from the hands of Lessner. He always had my back when it came to promos bless him.
I excitedly went to see an early, maybe first, New York show at Town Hall soon after ‘Sexy Boy’ became an underground hit. It was very, very disappointing. I was shocked at how dull the whole event was. It put me off ever buying a ticket again, but not from loving the recordings.
Conveniently, despite their club royalty status, many of the singles were issued on UK 7″ vinyl. Both ‘Kelly Watch The Stars’ and ‘Radio #1′ were radio and chart hits in the UK, unlike here in the US. Once again, our programmers chose to grind their tired sounding stations to a cultural halt – I heard today that Boston’s WBCN bit the dust – put themselves right out of business with their stubborn musical policies. Good riddance.
Seems to me the excellent Animal Collective have quite good tastes – the influence Air have had on their records is worn very visibly on their sleeves. All good.