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Air is two musicians (Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin) who are typically French yet altogether worldly. Many of France’s best musicians have something of this, simultaneously from yet not of France. It’s an argument that could be levelled at, say, Jean-Pierre Massiera, one of France’s misunderstood geniuses, or Saintly Serge, adored and occasionally reviled, Jacques Dutronc, who in the ‘60s had a tiger (and several other wild animals) in his guitar or Marc Moulin who was so French he was actually Belgian.
Air's music is often referred to as electronica; their form of electronic music was influenced by the synthesizer sounds of the 1970s such as Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis and Francis Lai. Other influences include psychedelic rock pioneers Pink Floyd; krautrockers Tangerine Dream; early pioneers of the eurodance electronica subgenre Space ; Jean-Jacques Perrey (although there are some echoes of dance music styles in the production); and French crooner Serge Gainsbourg.
Air use many of their studio instruments (like Moog synthesizers, the Korg MS-20, Wurlitzer and Vocoder) live on stage, where their ability to improvise is more clearly highlighted. The band performs the well-known tracks from the albums live as extended or altered versions. Air often works together, both in the studio and live on stage, with artists like Beth Hirsch (Moon Safari) , Françoise Hardy ("Jeanne"), Jean-Jacques Perrey ("Cosmic Bird"), Gordon Tracks ("Playground Love" and "Easy Going Woman" - Gordon Tracks is a pseudonym of the French singer Thomas Mars from Phoenix), Beck (10 000 Hz Legend), on the 2004 tour with Dave Palmer and on the 2007 tour with drummer Earl Harvin, Vincent Taurelle and Steve Jones.