AIR Premiers Symptomes (Astralwerks)
Premiers Symptomes (Astralwerks)
Reviewed by Kate X Messer, Fri., Nov. 12, 1999
Premiers Symptomes (Astralwerks)On May 5, 1961, the first American Mercury spacecraft carried Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. into history. His Freedom 7 was launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral and soared Shepard to speeds of over 5,000mph. The flight lasted 14.8 minutes. Eight years later, on July 20, 1969, the world stopped to revel in the glory of all that Shepard's historic flight led to: Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Similarly, all that had lead up to the mercurial January 1998 release of Moon Safari, the genre-morphing, trip-lounge space-hop smash for the French band Air, was a smattering of singles, compilation cuts, and remixes. But like Shepard's 14.8 minute anti-epic, there were jet-packs of potential crammed within. In Premiers Symptomes, Air takes a look back at their look forward, the way one might read Jules Verne to remember how we used to see the future, or more topically, the way one might listen to Vangelis, Mike Oldfield, Curtis Mayfield, or the Brothers Johnson, even, to get a feel for where we were at the dawn of our crystal, dew-soaked electronica mornings. This seven-song launching port takes listeners on the journey of auralnauts Nicolas Goudin and Jean Benoit Dunckel, unearthing the original instrumental riffs and tangents which eventually evolved into things like their hit "All I Need," and the rest of Moon Safari. Despite the unwhetting tease of the mere 27-minute length (twice what Shepard took!), Premiers Symptomes is a helluva "one step" for a coupla French guys and a great look back at the "first sign" of the "giant leap" to come.