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Air -

Premiers Symptomes

Date: August 21, 1999
Release: 1999 Astralwerks 6264
Cover Art: view / download
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For years, obsessed fans and collectors clamored for a domestic re-issue of French-duo Air‘s five-track EP, Premiers Symptomes. In 1999 they got more than they had bargained for. While the original European release pulled together five early Air singles of dreamy consistency, the US release mindlessly tacked on two funky "bonus" tracks that many believe clashed with the original vibe. To settle the controversy, I recommend programming your disc player for only the first five tracks. That way you may better experience Nicolas Godin’s and Jean-Benoit Dunckel’s lullingly tranquil soundscapes without the jarring wake up call of newcomer closing tracks "Californie" and "Brakes On."

Blending the vintage sounds of the Fender Rhodes, Minimoog, and Clavinet, these five separately released singles hang together with a delicious album-like cohesiveness, creating a soul-soothing atmosphere that you will crave at the end of the day. These five singles represent some of the most gorgeously grooving electronica pop in the entire Air discography, clearly holding their own next to anything on the duo’s gem-filled full-length debut, 1998’s Moon Safari.

The music of Air offers a blissful escape from our modern day blues, helping us breathe a bit easier, if only for the duration of a few brilliant tracks.


  • Jean-Benoît Dunckel – Organ, Piano, Glockenspiel, Clavinet, Moog Synthesizer, Syrinx, Mellotron, Korg, Vocoder, Solina, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer
  • Nicolas Godin – Organ, Bass, Harmonica, Percussion, Drums, Glockenspiel, Tambourine, Moog Synthesizer, Syrinx, Korg, Wurlitzer, Mini Moog


  1. Modular Mix (Godin)
  2. Casanova 70 (Godin)
  3. Professionnels (Dunckel/Godin)
  4. J’Ai Dormi Sous l’Eau (Dunckel/Godin)
  5. Soleil Est Pres de Moi (Dunckel/Godin)
  6. Californie (Dunckel/Godin/Latrobe)
  7. Brakes On (Dunckel/Godin/Latrobe)

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One Response:

  1. Organ -

    I noticed on some of the tracks you can actually hear bits and pieces of their last album, Moon Safari. If you have Moon Safari and buy this record, listen for the way some of the songs such as “Le Soleil est Pres de Moi” and “Califorine” start or stop with a piece from the last album. Premiers Symptomes closes out with the beat-happy “Brakes On.” Listen closely at the beginning of the cut; it sounds as if there is a Daft Punk hidden treasure in the background. I would recommend.


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