Nicolas Godin - Concrete and Glass

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When Air’s Nicolas Godin released his debut solo album, Contrepoint (2015), he channelled the influence of Bach into a rich, resonant and hugely rewarding spread of musical explorations. One soundtrack (A Very Secret Service) later, Godin builds on equally fertile conceptual foundations for the follow-up. Released through Because Music, Concrete and Glass is an exquisitely crafted set of variations on architectural reference points: mounted with minimalist precision and delivered with an abundance of pop warmth, it finds Godin in his element, working seductive wonders with poise and style to spare.

For Godin, the album circles back to his formative work as half of ground-breaking French electronic group Air. Revered modern architect Le Corbusier was an influence on the young architecture graduate’s music, notably on his 1997 debut Modular Mix. Twenty-plus years later, Le Corbusier featured on a list of modernist architects Godin was invited to compose tributes for, tributes intended to be heard as the soundtrack to site-specific installations around the world.

In its soft ambient pulse and melting minimalism, lead track The Border is a perfect entry-point to Godin’s hymns to buildings, arranged and co-produced with Pierre Rousseau. Its levitating synths, vocoder vocals and scudding bass hove into view with understated elegance, all the better to accommodate the discreet slow-build of delicate details within. As with Air, Godin makes gorgeously light work of every angle: this is music that seems entirely unperturbed by gravity, occupying an elevated atmosphere of its own.