50/Fifty Coming Down: #36 and #35
Air and Banco de Gaia make their appearances.
At #36 are Air – French downtempo masters Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel produced their classic Moon Safari in 1998. The album is a mix of nouveau easy listening and lounge downtempo with a bit of French disco for good luck. Its style was so endlessly copied that it ended up somewhat debased and can sound rather unexceptional today. Nevertheless, a classic album which disgorged a few singles, of which All I Need, with its tick tock rhythm and vocals from Beth Hirsch, is probably my favourite.
Puffing round the bend comes my #35 choice Banco de Gaia and the title track from Toby Marks’ album Last Train To Lhasa (1995). This is from that phase of 90s world or ethnic dance / Megadog and Whirl-Y-Gig. Toby (along with TGU and Loop Guru) did it better than anyone. This long track allows the atmosphere to slowly build, taking until 2.30 until any beats come in. Lovely track. Lovely album. I had an exclusive interview with him back here.
And here’s a live version for free download
But the best mix of all is this ambient mix