As one half of AIR producer Nicolas Godin helped to turn preconceptions of what French music was and could achieve upside down.
Fusing a knowledge of house and techno with everything from psychedelia to easy listening, the duo's output remains a thrilling, tantalising experience.
For the time being, though, Nicolas is focussing on his solo output. New album 'Contrepoint' is a minor gem, the return of a vivid musical voice discovering renewed breadth and fresh influence.
Out now on Because Music, 'Contrepoint' is marked by the impact of so much more than music - expanding his horizons, Nicolas has been absorbing cinema, theatre, literature and more.
The perfect candidate, then, for Their Library.
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What is your favorite book and why?
'La Vie Mode D'Emploi' of Georges Perec. One of my favourite authors, his membership of the OULIPO is one of the reasons because they use language as something you can play with... like the notes of musique...
What other authors do you like?
Romain Gary, Robertson Davies, Alexandre Dumas, Jules Vernes, Proust, Michel Houellebecq, Borges, Celine, Jean Genet, Gaston Leroux.
What draws you to certain books?
It can be a lot of different things, the subject, the reputation of the author, a good review or advice from people who know my taste.
Have you ever discovered a real lost classic? What is it and why?
I discovered recently Franny And Zooey from J.D. Salinger because I thought his ultimate classic was The Catcher In The Rye. In France we have an expression saying: the tree who was hiding the forest. Now I am lost in the forest of Salinger and it is great!
Do your literary influences have a direct impact on your songwriting?
Yes, as a method of work as I said earlier with Georges Perec and also the concept of travelling in another world in time and space. The common idea of the music being the soundtrack of a plot or a place is actually true in my opinion.
What are you reading at the moment?
A Spy Among Friends, Ben Macintyre.
What is the first book you remember reading as a child?
OUI OUI... a kid bestseller... but mostly comics, such as Tintin or Asterix.
Did you make good use of your library card as a child / teenager?
Not really, I was buying stuff, and we had a lot of books at home between my parents and brother. Libraries are actually my favourite rooms in houses...
Have you ever found a book that you simply couldn't finish?
As I am getting old, a lot. No time to waste and I am more sure about things I dislike...
Do you read book reviews?
Yes, in magazines , monthly or weekly and newspapers and blogs.
Would you ever re-read the same book?
Yes, some of them are like comfortable blankets.
Do you read one book at a time or more than one?
Usually two or three at the time (I do a lot of travelling so I have books for planes, backstage, studio or hotel rooms and home of course...)
Is there an author / poet you would like to collaborate with?
Yes, my last collaboration is with Alessandro Barrico on the song 'Que Due' on my last album 'Contrepoint'.
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'Contrepoint' is out on September 18th via Because Music.
Photo Credit: Thomas Humery