Air France

On Trade Winds

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This all-too-brief debut release from the mysterious Swedish electronic duo Air France distills the vaguely Caribbean good-vibes of fellow Gothenburgers (and label heads) the Tough Alliance into a smooth, streamlined confection of impressionistic, almost imaginary pop. Imaginary, particularly considering that although it arrived in the heart of Scandinavian winter, it's an indelible evocation of balmy, equatorial summers. There are words to these songs, most of them appropriated -- "Beach Party" interpolates Lisa Stansfield's "All Around the World" while "Karibien" borrows from an obscure track by obscure Glaswegian post-punkers the Wake -- but they're subtle enough not to distract from the lush whirlpools of sound at the core of the tracks; hazy blends of washed-out synths, reverb-drenched pianos, tropical percussion, and summery sound effects. There are beats too, but except perhaps for the submerged, faux-hi-NRG throb of "Karibien," they're more conducive to gentle swaying than actually working up a sweat. Air France could easily have extended these grooves to at least twice their lengths, and it would be hard to complain; as it is stands, this 13-minute EP serves as a mere taster from an artist who will hopefully be soundtracking many summers yet to come.

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