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Premiers Symptomes [Best of]

Air Audio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.20 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

1. Modular Mix
2. Casanova 70
3. Les Professionnels
4. J'ai Dormi Sous L'Eau
5. Le Soleil Est Pres De Moi
6. Californie
7. Brakes On

Product Description

Product Description


Air's European-label five-song EP, Premiers Symptomes, may have been a collection of early singles, but when it first came out in 1997 it felt all of a piece. Deploying an array of vintage mid-century instruments (Fender Rhodes, Minimoog, Clavinet), as well as a tuba, Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel created a cloistered, lulling sound world that was entirely their own (although, think The Percy Faith Orchestra Covers Brian Eno's Music for Airports and you get the basic idea). By contrast, the recent rerelease of Premiers, with two bonus tracks, sounds like exactly what it is: a collection of early singles. It's not that newcomers "Californie" and "Brakes On" are unworthy, just that their overt funk shatters the tranquil atmosphere this French duo so painstakingly establish elsewhere. Most electronica fans are usually more than happy to bump 'n' grind, but when they're in the mood to play Premiers Symptomes, all they want--all they need--is the Air that they breathe. --Jeff Salamon

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Symptomes of air March 22 2007
Format:Audio CD
Since "Premiers Symptomes" means "first symptoms," it's appropriate that it's the name of Air's collection of early singles. This French duo created a warm sweep of electronica that sounded like a complete , which is only marred by two funky, rather awkward songs pasted on to the end.

"Modular Mix" kicks it off -- a dreamy song that sounds like the soundtrack for an underwater movie. "Casanova 70" and the languid "Les Professionals" add a lounge-y sound. And "J'Ai Dormi Sous L'Eau" and "Le Soleil Est Près de Moi" are sweet and slow , almost like a pair of trip-hop lullabies.

The rerelease of "Premiers Symptomes" was given a bonus -- two new tracks, "Californie" and "Brakes On." Well, they're a mixed blessing. They're actually very fun songs -- funky, dancey and "Californie" has a stretch of ethereal electronica halfway after about a minute. But they just don't quite mesh with the early work.

"Premiers Symptomes" was compiled of singles released before the hit "Moon Safari," and so it has something of the same dreamy feeling. It's only a half hour long, but it's worth it to get the the romantic blend of ambient, trip-hop, funk and a hint of 60s psychedelic pop -- in a word, sensual chillout music!

Songs like "Modular Mix" have layers upon layers of shimmering keyboard. But "Casanova 70" and "J'ai Dormi Sous L'Eau" favor a more jazzy sound, with synthesized horns behind some twittery synths, while the spacey beats of "Les Professionals" sounds like a rainy morning near an alien city. Beside all these smooth sounds, the brash, bass-heavy extra songs sound harsh to the ear.

"Premiers Symptomes" is a must-have for Air fans (newbies had better start with something else), although the last two tracks aren't quite in sync with the first five. A beautiful experience, smooth and soft and sensual.
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4.0 out of 5 stars THE album to lay your lady down to.. Jan. 31 2004
Format:Audio CD
Upon the release of "Moon Safari" Air managed to avoid the typical stereotypes of their genre by redefining the requirements and, in essence, establishing themselves as a musical act without peers or any true category. In the years since, they have continued to dish out discs that enable their listeners to fulfill all the virtues that Air had opened us up to initially. This has never been more evident than on the charming and smoothly flowing "Premiers Symptomes." An assortment of previously released singles and two new tracks that were sent out to the American public after the masterpiece "Moon Safari", these tracks offer an inside view into a group that is much more than the sum of it's parts.
Capturing the same vibe as their debut, this EP entrenches the listener into a world that shows the liftoff for the eventual "Moon" excursion. And it furthers itself track after track up to "Le Soleil Est Pres De Moi" which ironically thereafter leads into the less enjoyable new tracks but by no means to utter disappointment.
So dim the lights, flicker some candles and start off your seductive mood with this most pleasurable piece as you take your woman to a place where this completes the ambience.
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Format:Audio CD
Having delighted & surprised everyone with their debut album "Moon Safari".....'Air' capitalize on the success of their most highly fondly loved album (that far outshone subsequent efforts), by compiling a loosely based 'Best of'....consisting of their five track EP, with two tracks added to flesh out the package, and the results???........well it's actually a startling surprise and ('Moon Safari', notwithstanding), the most complete collection of songs, with the breezy electronica that has defined their music thus far. First track "Modular Mix", with it's atmospheric keyboard chords, its Hypnotic layers of Vocoder bristles with gentle eccentricity that belies how complex its actual construction is. Unlike "Moon Safari", this album is (bar one track) entirely instrumental, and easily on a par with their best album "Moon Safari".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well ahead of its time Oct. 30 2003
Format:Audio CD
When you consider that five of the seven songs on this album were originally recorded in 1997, you can forget about everything else. These guys were clearly ahead of their time! By putting together a fundamentally instrumental album that flirts with a blend of 60s psychodelia and 90s ambient music to give birth to what later came to be known as chillout, Air broke into the musical scene with much deserved fanfare. Though the quality of their work continued to improve through the years, this album is a faithful representation of the musical potential they later showcased in productions such as "Moon Safari" and the OST to "The Virgin Suicides". Personally, their only work I'd steer away from is "10,000 Hz Legend".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible March 13 2007
Format:Audio CD
Where was this CD hiding all this time? I don't know why I didn't pick up this EP earlier - this disc brought me right back to the good old 'Moon Safari' days. I picked this one up alongside their latest album, 'Pocket Symphony.' I find myself drawn much more to Premiers Symptomes than I do their newest release. Each and every track here is inventive, fresh, and soothing. Highlights for me are 'Modular Mix' and 'J'ai Dormi Sous L'eau.' A must-have for a chill night with the lights dimmed at a tucked-away retro lounge.
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