RIP Air France

Ungoogleable Swedish dream pop group Air France, with whom I collaborated on my version of their brilliant No Excuses, are no more.

In an atypically honest statement, they revealed the main reason for the split to be a lack of confidence in their own material an an inability to "finish anything."

From their Tumblr:

We’ll make this brief, because it hurts too much.

During the first year of Air France, somewhere in the middle of the last decade, everything seemed to come so easily. At least it feels like that right now. We’d meet on friday nights to drink wine, listen to music and picture ourselves far off, somewhere on the outskirts on the big map Henrik had on his wall. The songs we made during those nights weren’t really supposed to ever leave the hard drive, but somehow they did, and somehow they took us to almost all the places on that big map we had dreamt about. We got to play records at the Rough Trade store in London, we went to the Red Square, we woke up on Iceland during a volcanic eruption, we drank beer at the cliffs of the Niagara, we spent a night in a freezing staircase in Warzaw (otherwise a fantastic weekend), we saw dolphins in the waters of LA, we got a smile from Larry David as he passed us on a street in Paris, watching us trying to open a bottle of wine, we played records for 4 hours under a blistering July sun in New York, we spent a day in the most beautiful spa in Budapest, we’ve heard our nervous voices on radio and TV, we’ve played records after two sold out Saint Etienne shows (but to be honest, only a handful stayed behind to see us), we’ve written a song together with our idol Clare Grogan (although we did managed to botch it) and we got sampled by Lil B. But it’s the little moments that has been the most dear to our hearts, like the days and nights in Brackenbury Village that we spent in our manager’s back yard with his wonderful wife and sons, who made us feel like part of the family, or being drunk on airplanes, just the two of us, and all the people we’ve been fortunate enough to get to know, if only for a night.

And we have probably produced 7 albums since No Way Down; a UK Garage record, a house record, an r ‘n’ b record… but we’ve never been able to finish anything, nothing was ever good enough. We have tried so hard, and we truly gave it all we had. And now we have decided to stop trying, even though it breaks our hearts. But for all the reasons mentioned above, and for a thousand more, we don’t regret a thing.

You can read the rest here.

I had been pestering their manager and my old frield and label boss David Laurie about them intermittently all year, and he had shared their frustrations. I suggested they send me some of their "unfinished" work  - which I suspect to be Great and Beautiful - so I could finish it. And rap all over, it obviously. David thought this would be a good idea, and I was going to chase him about it this week.

Ah vey.

For the sake of our world, which needs beautiful music in order to Not Be Shit And Unbearable, I hope they reconsider, or someone manages to liberate some of that music they couldn't finish. So I can finish it. I am a finisher. It is one of my greatest talents. If I had ever listened to the little voice telling me "it's not good enough" and "it's not finished" I would have never realsed anything at all. As it is I have a fine and ever expanding back catalogue of beautiful music that - while I might not personally listen to it a lot, because as the creator I can sometimes only hear the mistakes and ways I'd do it differently now - brings great joy to a great many people all around the world. They send me messages every day. "Dear Akira The Don, that song you think you could have done better makes me feel alive every time I put it on, thank you."

So peace and love to Air France. I hope they find inspiration in whatever new form they will surely take, and I look forward to their future creations. They are too good to really stop.

I hung out with them at one of David Laurie's house parties once. They told me they didn't feel like a "real" band until they heard my remix of their song. So here it is:

No Excuses.