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- Words by Will Davenport
Lo Recordings is enormously proud to set free ‘Air’s World Vol. 1’ – the first release from London newcomer World Air.
Coming on like a savant brainchild to Laurie Anderson & latter-day Bullion, World Air is a rare standalone. A digital digger’s prize find. His sound falls off the shelf amongst those of only other misfit producers: Dominique Dumont’s aquatic bubble-music; Len Leise’s sunset exotica; the loopy brilliance of Matthew Herbert. His debut record is a bright bolt of singular creativity, melding avant-pop, tropical synaesthetics & ambient minimalism into something that feels both oddly familiar & sparklingly new.
Air’s World is an imagined one, an eccentric tangent from Western technocracy in an alien bubble. It’s a hybrid world where the remnants of high technology meet folkloric utopia –– a transportive fourth world of ambient electronics in pastoral paradise. A glimpse into balearic’s near future, these are bright & strange songs for sunsets not on Earth but on intergalactic beach resorts in a different now. The sound of the future approximating the past.
Our trip begins on “Life” –– a skippy anti-banger whose bright-eyed positivity is slowly undone by a softly-computerised female voice that anguishes over the human condition. “Be good and you will be happy” is her android refrain, gathering more doubt with each mechanic repetition. Through the bubbling rhythms & chirrupy chords, her glassy-eyed reflections on life are as oddly resonant as those in DJ Koze’s dancefloor-stiller “XTC”. Rave existentialism par excellence.
Beach-coasting interlude “Yard Man” digs deeper into World Air’s alien exotica. Naïve masterstrokes & effete little details interplay in a martian ritual ceremony: deep organs sound like warped voices; tapping toms channel Caribbean dub. The drifting ambient structures grow on “Turks & Caicos”, giving more shine to alien tonalities & freaky side-sounds. Perky melodies & bouncing riffs fanfare in full glowing, spaced-out surf dub. Burbling synths bleep, bubble & recede.
The record powers down on “Alarm”, a gorgeous miniature that sounds like the gentle rattle of a rusting cyborg whose loose circuitry still whirrs in dissonant harmony. After its surging digital wash simmers, the ghosts in the machine slowly come to a rest –– & the record closes. Air’s World starts to fall from view, a digital replica of a distant summer whose data fragments are decaying gently in the sun.