EDM in Strereo’s Jennifer Frederick was on hand during a Jean-Michel Jarre appearance in Los Angeles for a preview of his new album E Project (Ultra Records/Sony Music). E Project be available for download on iTunes on October 16, 2015.
Jean-Michael Jarre has morphed into an international superstar and has performed at huge symphonic events around the world, and now he’s back to reclaim his role as an electronic music pioneer. Jarre’s music dates back to the mid 1970s and has almost just as many albums as years under his belt since the debut of “Les Granges Brulees” in 1974.
This time around he’s teamed up for a pair of albums with an eclectic array of DJs, producers and EDM superstars in collaborations its creator insists were done in person, rather than sharing files over the Internet. Like Michelangelo Matos’ exhaustively research genre history, The Underground is Massive and the French movie Eden, Jarre’s two new albums, the first of which comes out in October and the second 2016, looks to trace both EDM’s roots and branches of the electronic musical family tree.
Some of these artists include M83’s Anthony Gonzalez (“Glory”), Air (“Close Your Eyes”) and Gesaffelstein (“Conqustador”), ‘80s Britpop fave Vince Clarke (“Automatic”) and the German techno of Boyz Noize (“The Time Machine”) and ambience of godfathers Tangerine Dream (“Zero Gravity), to Bristol eccentrics Massive Attack’s 3D (“Watching You”) and Fuck Buttons (“Immortals”) to multimedia performance artists Moby (“Suns Have Gone”) and Laurie Anderson (“Rely On Me”).
There are also left-field collaborations, unlikely pairings with Pete Townshend, film director/composer John Carpenter (“A Question of Blood”) and Grammy-nominated Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang (“The Train and the River”).
Jarre came to town to give a track-by-track introduction to the work at a recent preview of the album, and a description of how he cast the record, with an eye towards both coherence and stylistic diversity. There are vocals and instrumentals, but overall the pieces offer a seamless synthesis of Jarre’s legacy of electronic music and the various mutations that have taken place over the past four decades since the groundbreaking Oxygene.
Yes, electronic music has come a long way since then, but Jarre points out that it’s not all bleeps, beats and dancing your ass off on Molly. There is a rich tradition at work here, and Electronica offers a primer to the leading styles and their practitioners, as it succeeds in putting a face on a body of work.
As Jarre explains, electronic music goes back to the ‘40s in Europe, working on the legacy of musique concrete forerunner Pierre Schaefer and German genius Karlheinz Stockhausen, building on the legacy of classical composers such as Ravel and Debussy.
Jarre makes the case, long before Detroit techno, Chicago house, New York garage and U.K. trip-hop, there was Euro electronica.
Jean-Michel Jarre and M83 – “Glory”
Jean-Michel Jarre – Live In Monico (2013)