Jb Dunckel – H+ (2018) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Jb Dunckel – H+ (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 49:26 minutes | 1,02 GB | Genre: Electronic
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front cover | © Jive Epic

JB Dunckel is best known for his work with Nicolas Godin as Air, they of the landmark 1998 double platinum debut album Moon Safari. The gentle downtempo synthpop album referencing the stars and naive heroines was a clear change of course from the crunchy electro of fellow French band Daft Punk, and the album was a success. Dedicated fans of Air may be satisfied with J B Dunckel’s new album H+ with its low tempo pop music and songs with titles like ‘Space Age’ and ‘In Between the Two Moons’ and the heavily accented whispery vocals. It’s a well-crafted pop album, but with some clear shortcomings.

Not a single new track in five years, an album on the side by Nicolas Gaudin in 2015 (Contrepoint, with Because Records) and now this H+, which formalizes the comeback of a solo Jean-Benoît Dunckel, after revealing his dark side on Darkel in 2006. Even if the lucrative international tours are still happening (they have visited Australia, the United States and Singapore during the summer of 2017, and completed a 5-star show at the Philharmonie de Paris), this disc should confirm the rumors of tensions between the two members of Air. Dunckel incidentally cultivates the ambiguity in his presentation, by declaring: “I built on the sound experience of Air, and this is the solo continuation of my sound on Air, without renouncing the past. This is a rope that I pull, and I live with that.” If Gaudin found inspiration through Glenn Gould’s work on Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Dunckel presents himself here as an architect of the Air brand and its trademark sound, that is still acclaimed by the public twenty years after Moon Safari and the Virgin Suicides’ soundtrack.

Sound copyrights intersperse this album that starts with Hold On, the single released in December, with Guillemette Foucard’s ethereal voice, already heard on Music for Museum. Dunckel’s voice asserts itself more and more throughout this opus punctuated with contemplative pieces (Love Machine), analog melodies like on Transhumanity, filtered vocals (Space Age, some kind of Kraftwerk from the future), both electro and pop (The Garden, looking toward the Beatles). In the end, this H+ reminds us that Dunckel’s compositions have been appealing to the public for so many years because they do good for the body and calm the mind. It is in a sense a therapeutic disc to listen to after an hour spent on public transport or, even better, to take along with you on your commute.

01. Hold On
02. Love Machine
03. The Garden
04. Transhumanity
05. Qwartz
06. Slow Down The Wind (Up)
07. Space Age
08. In Between The Two Moons
09. Show Your Love
10. Ballad Non Sense
11. Carpet Bombing
12. Kill For You