In retrospect there are always multiple reasons why a band ‘didn’t make it’. Often it’s a classical case of ‘wrong time, wrong place’. Just think about JOY DIVISION who never were as legendary as they are right now over the course of the short lifetime of Ian Curtis. Sometimes ‘real life’ gets in the way; family, jobs and the decision to settle for a more steady lifestyle. In the case of Swedish producers Joel Karlsson and Henrik Markstedt and their band AIR FRANCE it might have been multiple things but one aspect was the duo’s love for perfection and a certain pressure to stick up to their own expectations on a potential full-length, one that never happened following a certain buzz in the blogosphere. Five years ago, AIR FRANCE announced their split via a Tumblr Post and the sad anniversary of this break-up is reason enough to remember their small but wonderful musical legacy.
It’s not necessary to unfold the entire history of the duo right here. The Line Of Best Fit already did a great job about this a few years back and we highly recommend you to read this piece by Rich Thane right here. What you need to know is this; AIR FRANCE released two EP’s – 2006’s On Trade Winds and No Way Down from 2008 – a couple of stand-along tracks, a handful of remixes for bands like FRIENDLY FIRES, AU REVOIR SIMONE and SAINT ETIENNE and they created a lovely ongoing hype in the internet of the MySpace era around ten years ago. That was the time when music blogs were way more important than today and could still generate a proper buzz while the World Wide Web offered enough space for free mp3s here and now in a time where streaming wasn’t really an option. Karlsson and Henrik Markstedt fit into that short-living era.
It’s still kind of hard to describe the music of AIR FRANCE other than labelling it ‘tropical.’ Their tracks were a summerly and sun-drenched mixture of all sorts of different pop ingredients. Packed with samples, guest vocals and references to mostly late 80s Balearic and Ibiza House it partly felt as if the two Swedes filled the gap that THE AVALANCHES left following their disappearance a few years earlier. And while streaming services only provide the two EP’s of the guys it’s highly recommended to dig a bit deeper in the internet to enjoy all the remixes and other tracks that are still floating around somewhere. Any solid summer playlist should at least feature one tune by them, ours surely does. They are just the right ones to embrace life’s better sides. Despite the fact that it doesn’t look as if AIR FRANCE would return anytime soon, we’re not giving up hope. In the end, it took THE AVALANCHES 15 years to return, so that’s ten more to go for these guys. Let’s cross fingers.