What’s the Deal? With an eclectic, drifting-in-midair-like mix of intricate pop songwriting and romanticized electronic renaissance, Air’s outstanding studio debut Moon Safari has virtually invented the tangled indie rock make-out session of the past decade. And in celebration of the seminal album’s 10th anniversary, a special Moon Safari box set arrives this week, dispatching not just the original 10-track record, but also a colorful book of extras, an accompanying DVD, and an bonus disc of selections that will shock fans devoted to Air’s subdued side. Representing Moon Safari from a renewed perspective, the additional disc is strewn with live interpretations of hits and B-sides from sessions on the BBC and KCRW, and two unusually up-tempo reworkings of “Kelly, Watch The Stars” — one at a rollicking rockabilly tempo and the other reminiscent of some glitterati disco dreamland a la the Commodores’ “Machine Gun.”
Who?Air — an acronym for Amour, Imagination, Rêve (translated to English as Love, Imagination, and Dream) — consists of French experimentalists Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel. Their debut Moon Safari propped opened the floodgates in 1998 and was quickly followed by the score for Sofia Coppola’s flick The Virgin Suicides, which further launched the album into the indie-melodrama lexicon. Four more acclaimed creations ensued, including 2007’s Pocket Symphony.
Fun Fact: Although Moon Safari features vocal contributions from Florida-based songstress Beth Hirsch, the soprano-range singing on “Sexy Boy” is actually courtesy of Dunckel — and a little help from the duo’s in-studio effects.
Now Watch This: “Sexy Boy”