With their low-key, sophisticated take on electronic music, the French duo Air became global stars in the late ’90s and 2000s.
• Air founders Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin met at university in the mid-’90s, where they studied mathematics and architecture, respectively. The pair played in an alternative rock band called Orange before teaming up as Air.
• Blending ethereal synth-pop with chill downtempo, their 1997 debut EP, Premiers Symptômes, set the tone for the next decade of Air releases.
• Their critically praised 1998 debut album, Moon Safari, went Top 10 in the UK, where it racked up platinum sales. The single “Sexy Boy” was a No. 13 UK hit.
• In 2000, Air released their score from Sofia Coppola’s 1999 film The Virgin Suicides.
• Air’s 2001 sophomore LP, 10 000 Hz Legend, became their second UK Top 10. The LP also reached No. 3 on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart in the US.
• By the time of their third album, 2004’s Talkie Walkie LP, Air had built a strong US audience. The singles “Cherry Blossom Girl” and “Surfing on a Rocket” both cracked the Top 10 on Billboard’s Dance Singles Sales chart.
• Featuring Pulp mastermind Jarvis Cocker on the track “One Hell of a Party,” Air’s fourth album, 2007’s Pocket Symphony, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart.
• After their fifth album, 2009’s Love 2, Air stopped releasing conventional albums. Their 2012 effort Le voyage dans la lune was a soundtrack for the 1902 silent film A Trip to the Moon, while 2014’s Music for Museum was a limited-edition vinyl-only release commissioned by the Palais des Beaux-Arts.