After seven albums as one half of celebrated musical duo Air, Nicolas Godin has finally produced his first solo album, Contrepoint, which is available today. 

Contrepoint is described as a dazzling experience that conjoins Godin’s former habitual musical fusions with classical forms, taking the listener on multiple adventurous journeys, often within each song, with counterpoint just one of its many landmarks. It’s remarkably varied in tone and rhythm, splicing genres with a bold, punchy and yet sensual and sweeping feel, with a variety of enticing lyrical narratives, and a starry international cast of guests, such as French vocalist Gordon Tracks, Brazilian singer Marcelo Camelo, Italian author Alessandro Barrico, New Zealand guitarist Connan Mockasin and the choir from Macedonia’s F.A.M.E.'S. Project. But the unifying force of Contrepoint is Johann Sebastian Bach. Each album track uses a Bach piece as its source, before jumping off to all manner of new places. Glenn Gould is also in the mix, though more as a spiritual guide than compositional.

Working in tandem with co-songwriter, arranger, keyboardist and Bach specialist Vincent Taurelle at Air’s Studio de l’Atlas in Paris, Godin ended up with eight stunningly individual pieces, “taking parts of Bach’s scores, then creating new parts,” he recalls. “Sometimes only thirty seconds of Bach’s original music was left behind. But I want people to listen to Contrepoint without noticing that it’s Bach as it’s as much a tribute to all the great composers that have inspired me. Making a record about Bach leads to all composers who have listened to Bach.”

Contrepoint, which is on Because Music, is available from today in all the usual places.