JB Dunckel, one half of the duo Air, will release his new album H+ on March 16 via SONY Music France/Jive/Epic. Dunckel released the single from the record, “Love Machine”, last February. Recently, he recently shared a new video for the track created by Greek visual artist Eva Papamargariti.
After having alternated solo albums, using his Darkel alias, with Air projects, “in order,” said Jean-Benoît, “to avoid being soluble in Air – for Air is white and Darkel is… well, dark,” he set his sights on recapturing the entirety of his being. “I use the sound experiences of Air; I just extend my Air sound in a solo setting. I don’t renounce the past, in fact I exploit it quite openly,” the artist recently explained.
Scoring film soundtracks — Fabrice Gobert’s K.O. (2017), Olivier Babinet’s Swagger, and Alanté Kavaïté’s Summer (both from 2015) — apparently confirmed Jean-Benoît’s exponential taste for loads of violins and improvisation in the studio. Many of his songs are based on the barest of piano melodies and a vocal style that is smoother and freer than ever. Years of singing on tour with Air strengthened his voice; it now has a deeper range and tone, while remaining androgynous. The mixture of longevity and a love of transformation bring to mind David Bowie; and one could easily imagine the cozy sound bubbles Dunckel produces — with the ideals of “sex & space” never far from his mind — being performed three thousand years from now in a cosmic jazz version.
With his favorite synthesizers, the MS20 and the Arp 2600, Jean-Benoît spent a lot of time honing this album aboard his private spaceship, a way of thumbing his nose at the wave of dystopias that make mincemeat of all our hopes and dreams, by creating a future in which “romantic transhumanism” reigns, “man never ages, and love is eternal.