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Air France's 'No Way Down'

The sound of summer.

Jordie Yow 17 Jul 2008TheTyee.ca

Jordie Yow is the editor of Discorder magazine. He writes about music and other forms of pop culture in and around Vancouver.

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Iced-beverage-and-patio-furniture music.

Summer is all about sitting back and relaxing on patio furniture. As I write this, it is one of the most gorgeous days yet, and looking at B.C.'s weather forecast, there is no sign of cloud for at least the next week.

So what is there to listen to while enjoying an iced beverage on said outdoor furniture? Nothing seems more appropriate than the second EP release from Air France. The band from Gothenberg, Sweden has created No Way Down, an album that combines the emotional highs of The Avalanches' breakthrough album, Since I Left You, with the beautiful dreamscapes of M83.

No Way Down draws heavily on the world-beat rhythms that tie The Avalanches' masterpiece of cut-up music together, but doesn't fill those beats with sounds of basement record collections and old movies as The Avalanches did.

Instead, the beats act as a backdrop to the ambient reverbs of shoegazing music (1980s U.K. alt rock) explored by M83 (who happen to be from France). "Maundy Thursday," the first song on Air France's six-track EP, is perhaps the closest to an ambient song, with heavy reverb on everything. Spacey female vocals throughout No Way Down leave the actual words unimportant to the mood carried by the music in most tracks.

Though you can play "spot the influence" on the album, by the time the uplifting reverbed horn section kicks in 30 seconds into "June Evenings," the second track, you'll be beyond caring as the rest of the EP carries you off into the happy bliss of a summer evening.

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