Backbeat: Air Screen Sdtk To 'Le Voyage Dans La Lune' @ MoMA, Cheese-Filled French Embassy
Backbeat: Air Screen Sdtk To 'Le Voyage Dans La Lune' @ MoMA, Cheese-Filled French Embassy

Electronic duo Air celebrated the release of their new album -- "Le Voyage Dans La Lune" (Astralwerks, Feb. 7) -- in a way that would make the mother country proud: a classy wine and cheese party at the French Embassy, organized by Filter magazine's creative group. AIR's Jean-Benoit Dunckel even joked with us that the wide cheese selection bordered on overkill, but with his friends Au Revoir Simone (who sing on "Le Voyage Dans La Lune") DJing the gig, spirits were high -- as are the expectations for AIR's new album.

"I think the people that were into AIR early on and then maybe drifted away are very likely to come back now," Nick Clift, Senior Project Manager at Astralwerks, told us. "We have an incredible press story behind the album, we have very strong NPR support across the board to tell the story, and support form Sirius XM satellite radio, too."

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Honorary Frenchies: Air's Jean-Benoit Dunckel poses with the evening's guest DJs, the ladies of Au Revoir Simone (L-R Annie Hart, Heather D'Angelo, Erika Forster), at the French Embassy after-party for the MoMA screening of the AIR-scored film "Le Voyage Dans La Lune." (Photo: Gabi Porter)

The story is indeed strong, as exhibited at the night's (Jan. 17) main attraction: a MoMa screening of Georges Melies' 1902 classic silent film "Le Voyage Dans La Lune," now gorgeously restored (in color!) and soundtracked by AIR. The soundtrack project expanded beyond the 16-minute film into a full and varied album, AIR's tenth. In conversation with WFUV's Rita Houston following the screening for press and EMI personnel alike, AIR explained its inspiration: scores for "Rosemary's Baby" and "Planet of the Apes," the druggy psychedelia of Paris in 1902, and, as always, the moon.

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No Translations Necessary: Following the presentation of the fully-restored silent classic "Le Voyage Dans La Lune," French duo AIR -- who created a new score for the 1902 film -- reflected on the experience with WFUV's Rita Houston. (Photo: Gabi Porter)