Moon Safari

Tuscon Weekly Review

France finally finds the funky feel of the seventies with this new release from Nicolas Godin and Jean-BenoƮt Dunckel, a.k.a. "Air French Band." This duo draws heavily from such '70s sources as blaxploitation movies and "Afro-American" commercial music. Their soundtrack-inspired songs are reminiscent of Isaac Haayes' Shaft compositions, crossed with a Kraftwerk-like electronic repertoire. However, in spite of the use of vocoders and vox talkboxes, the heavy, syncopated rhythms prevent Moon Safari from having any hint of Kraftwerk's robotic coldness. Multi-instrumentalists Godin and Dunckel make use of the standard range of electro-pop instruments, but add a flighty, psychedelic air with the addition of glockenspiels, wurlitzers and chants. What might be most surprising for those familiar with the Johnny Halliday/Dalida strains in French pop is the subtly ironic sense of humor Air French Band is able to meld with their complicated, dancy music. Definitely one of the best releases so far this year, Moon Safari is a hard-to-pigeonhole combination of retro and techno, not to be missed by trans-Atlantic hipsters and mellow-assed Napoleon wannabes.