Foundations: Air’s Nicolas Godin

The sounds that shaped the French musician...

Nicolas Godin has always been acutely aware of the role style and structure play in music.

After all, the French musician helped drive Air to international acclaim, melding together dreamy synths, subtle funk, and soundtrack influences into a potent, utterly unique brew.

2015's solo LP 'Contrepoint' started a fresh chapter, while new album 'Concrete And Glass' takes this fascinating with structure to its logical conclusion.

A record in large part inspired by and informed by the world of architecture, some moments have very real ties to the physical world.

Take 'The Foundation', an album cut Nicolas Godin says was directly inspired by Pierre Koenig’s famed Case Study House #21.

Out now, 'Concrete And Glass' is a fascinating multi-dimensional realm, truly an album to get lost in.

Clash caught up with Nicolas Godin to discuss the albums that shaped his aural worldview in Foundations.

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Portishead – 'Dummy'

Very important album… it gave me the confidence to create music based on soundtrack's influence. The success of this album was a big sign for someone like me in France who was not able to do dance music.

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Serge Gainsbourg – 'Histoire de Melody Nelson'

I stole everything from the bass player Dave Richmond… I’d like to meet him – don’t know if he's still around.

The drum sound was my reference for many of my recordings including the first track of my new album – 'Concrete And Glass' – and the acoustic guitar arpeggios were the last element that I needed to create the Air sound.

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David Bowie – 'Hunky Dory'

But really, it could be any album from Bowie between this one and 'Let’s Dance' included, considering that they’re all classics… one of the best songwriters / singers / performers who ever touched the Earth.

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Prince – 'Sign O’ The Times'

The perfect mix between funk and pop music… I could say the same thing about any 70’s Stevie Wonder album except that 'Sign o' The Times' was a big step forward into technology and modern electronic sounds.

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Herbie Hancock – 'Headhunters'

Basically I bought all the gear of my studio – keyboards, instruments – by reading the back cover of this album. Fender Rhodes, ARP string ensemble, clavinet… this is what I bought to record 'Moon Safari'.

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'Concrete And Glass' is out now.

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