JB Dunckel, one half of the duo Air, will release his sophomore solo album ‘H+’ on March 16 via SONY Music France/Jive Epic. Dunckel shared the third single from the record, Love Machine, on Valentine’s Day. Now, he has shared a stunning video for the track created by Greek visual artist Eva Papamargariti. Check it out via YouTube below.
Jean-Benoît is back in the guise of an augmented man with ‘H+,’ an exceptionally futuristic, optimistic and contemporary sound odyssey. A little over ten years after his first solo album, ‘Darkel’ (2006) — and following his 2013 collaboration with Lou Hayter, ‘Tomorrow’s World’ and 2015 album with Barði Jóhannsson, ‘Starwalker’ — ‘H+’ sets the tone through its album cover created by French design studio Akatre, depicting the artist in a utopian landscape. ‘H+’ represents a positively charged hydrogen ion, known as a proton; it also is the symbol of transhumanism.
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”.
For more information on JB Dunckel, visit jbdunckel.com.