Looking for the perfect music to take on your trips? Here, our very own TuneSmith, DJ Rob Wood, compiler of the Mr & Mrs Smith: Something for the Weekend CDs, makes his essential monthly recommendations…
ALBUM OF THE MONTH: No Way Down by Air France
When? You want to disengage from everyday life and go somewhere far more uplifting.
Why? This is daydreamy pop with a widescreen edge.
It’s already looking like a vintage year for vibrant and fresh new artists who seem joyfully non-conformist and wonderfully original. Air France – from Sweden – are the latest to make their own noise on the back of a spellbinding album, which is creating a lot of excitement for those who have managed to catch it early. The noise in question is a beguiling cinematic sound that recalls Primal Scream and the Avalanches at their most euphoric, but is honed down to a of kind of mesmerising dreamscape that will no doubt be all over the big screen soon. At the same time, they are very ‘now’ – comfortably inhabiting a world where Friendly Fires, Aeroplane and Fujiya & Miyagi are musical peers. Yet what makes the Air France experience so heavenly has little to do with the zeitgeist. No Way Down is one of those albums that earns a place in your heart through the sheer exuberant joy it generates. Tracks such as ‘No Excuses’ are impossible to ignore. These guys are doing their own thing and doing it very well indeed. Get on board and you won’t want to get off.
When? Your credibility demands you must be kept up to speed with the latest delights of electronic music.
Why? This is a fantastic debut from one of dance music’s rising stars.
King Roc’s reputation for immaculately produced intricate dance music has not only won him the full respect of his contemporaries on today’s club scene, but it has also taken him around the world to DJ at the cutting-edge of underground Germany, Australia, China and Brazil. Thankfully what it has not done is make him blinkered to the existence of other intriguing and oddly shaped forms of music. Far from it. Debut album Chapters was always going to be electronic and futuristic in essence, but the thinking behind the studiocraft is blatantly open-minded and hungry to explore. As ambient, cosmic and futuristic as it is dance-oriented, this statement of intent could just be the sound of a new Boards Of Canada or Orbital-size talent arriving on planet electronica.