Joel Karlsson and Henrik Markstedt have sadly announced the demise of Air France, the duo's collaborative production moniker, on their Tumblr today. The Gothenburg group's ultimate discography is quite short—totaling no more than an hour and change across two EPs and a handful of singles—and yet its widespread influence can be heard quite clearly in many of the breezier electronic productions that continue to surface online, this website included. Air France's announcement is particularly heartwrenching given last August's brilliant "It Feels Good to be Around You" and a rare interview they gave us around the same time that suggested a new album was imminent. However, the duo cited an inability to complete its work (up to seven albums remain unfinished) as the impetus of the breakup: "...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."
It all seems to have come to an end much too soon. "We’ll make this brief, because it hurts too much," wrote the band at the opening of today's message. That sentiment can't help but be applied to the rest of Air France's catalog, which was emotionally dense yet temporally abridged, often visiting themes of heartbreak and ecstasy in the same short breath. The group's debut EP, 2006's On Trade Winds, as well as a host of singles and remixes, brought Air France to the forefront of Gothenburg's electronic music scene at the middle of the last decade, a time when their Swedish contemporaries and countrymen in The Tough Alliance (which has since been disbanded), Studio (also now kaput), and The Embassy (new album soon?) were at their most prolific. Karlsson's and Markstedt's 2008 EP for Sincerely Yours, No Way Down, brought Air France its most widespread acclaim, with critics citing the band's knack for combining the quirky, sampling sensibilities of The Avalanches with the balearic style of Saint Etienne (whom the band would later remix). The group's official statement can be read here.