Home Read Classic Album Review: Air | 10,000 Hz Legend

Classic Album Review: Air | 10,000 Hz Legend

The French duo dish up everything from pop tunes to freaky soundscapes.


This came out in 2001 — or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


I am not sure what the 10,000 Hz Legend might be, but I am familiar with Air’s story so far: The Parisian ambient pop duo released the critically beloved album Moon Safari in ’98, relocated to L.A., wrote the score for the ultra-chic indie pic The Virgin Suicides, jammed with Beck and generally embraced the whole American experience.

Which brings me to 10,000 Hz Legend, their true sophomore album. Not surprisingly given their situational changes, these 11 tracks bear little resemblance to the retro lounge-pop of their earlier works. Instead, 10,000 Hz Legend cuts a wide swath through a variety of styles — prog, Krautrock, post-rock, psychedelia, Japanese pop, lush orchestral — and dishes up everything from pop songs to freaky soundscapes, delivered by voices both human (Beck, Buffalo Daughter) and inhuman (many, many synthesizers and Vocoders). All of which conspire to create a unique, captivating effort that just might make them legends in their own time.