Air France - No Way Down (Something In Construction)
Phillip Clark | Friday, 27 February 2009
The quality and colourfulness of Sweden musical exports over the last few years has been nothing short of mesmerising. Ensuring this trend continues, Air France release a fantastic album that follows on from their acclaimed 2006 EP, On Trade Winds.
No Way Down contains the sounds that’ll form the perfect spring-to-summer soundtrack as the dark days of winter slowly fade away behind these Balearic beats. And, on the way, anyone who’s ever graced a Mediterranean shoreline drinking and sunbathing on a cheap club-filled holiday will instantly be taken back there in a strange retrospective haze.
Its music for any mood, but No Way Down has the habit of picking up your predominate emotion and making it grow until it takes over your body and has the potential to leave you either crying or dancing. Joel and Henrik, the duo that make up Air France, have created synth-heavy compositions that feature plenty of horns, scrawls and wails plus a whole host of other sound-effect additions.
You can almost watch the first part of 'Windmill Wedding' in your head; the images it creates through the music is amazing. Inside 'Windmill Wedding' you’re amongst the sharpest green fields and yellowest meadows in mainland Europe - you can almost smell the fresh air before the Spanish-guitar kicks in and the picture disappears.
'Beach Party' starts at dusk and dreamingly waives its way through the night, reaching the drunken peaks and finishing with a sobering relaxation just before sunrise. Tracks such as 'June Evenings' and 'Collapsing At Your Doorstep' sound like 1990s dance tunes dressed up in 21st century clothing.
The most appropriately named track on the album is ‘Never Content’, starting with waves lapping on the beach before a lively piano kicks in; it’s a real feel-good song but has a heavy sadness to it - a powerful reminiscing of good times that have become mere memories.
‘Karibien’ is an anthem-dance track with its fast-paced bass background, party horns and fluttery rhythms. ‘Maundy Thursday' provides a flourish of trumpet-like horns that wash over a grainy under sound with an echoing tap.
Perhaps, though, the best way to take the album is on its surface: it’s care-free, it's summery and it’s the type of music travel agents ought to be playing to sell more holidays.