Jean Michel-Jarre

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Tangerine dream wannabe wanker or messianic post-Carlos synth wizard?

Mike Hanle y, Saturday, 3 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Snoozeworthy, but in a really pleasant way.

Dan Perry, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

i;ve posted theis on other pages for no good reason, but side 2 of "equinoxe" - it's so aphex twin! (maybe somehow better as it lacks the "my programming is more complicated than yours" impetus that can make his stuff tiresome).

bob snoom, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I wonder if he uses a sequencer...I hear constant sisxteenth notes.

Mike Hanle y, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I bought "Equinoxe" about 15 years ago under the influence of some European classmates, and kinda liked it then. Don't remember playing it al all in the last ten years at least. Maybe I will if it's like Aphex Twin... I'll feel so modern!

Sean, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Erm...parts of 'Concerts in China' are ace (and I checked about a year ago ;)

Omar, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

wouldn't it be "Aphex Twins sounds like JMJ? " I mean, he did come first.

Mike Hanle y, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

his first two LPs (Oxygene, 76? and Equinoxe, 77?) are amazing, and you can hear the synth sounds, filter sweeps etc still being an influence to producers today. i hear a lot of JMJ style bits in some Andrew Weatherall tracks, for example. i think his later stuff, and the Docklands laser extravaganza type concerts lose him cred points in the 'publicly admitable influences' stakes, but he should be up there with Kraftwerk, i reckon

m jemmeson, Monday, 5 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

i love jean michel jarre. remember that docklands concert with the laser harps. fuck he was cool.

ambrose, Monday, 5 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

the point i was trying to make was that he was never 'cool', which is why his music never gets the same respect as other synth pioneers, like Kraftwerk, Walter Carlos, JJ Perrey, etc

m jemmeson, Monday, 5 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

TOMITA! now he really fucking rocks!

bob snoom, Monday, 5 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Yes Tomita is cool but I was disapointed by his version of Rhapsody in Blue. I far prefer the Kingsley version.

Mike Hanle y, Tuesday, 6 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Electronica-lite, what used to impress me (Zoolook, Oxygen) sounds like Muzak now, bland and contrived. Nothing wrong with that, but there's just no room for him in my life. File under - What-have-you- done-for-me-lately - along with Mike Oldfield, Michael Jackson and... er..... Uri Geller.

K-reg, Tuesday, 6 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

tomita's pictures at an exhibition and the space album and night on bare mountain. wow! is there anyone else who has conquered the realm of "planetarium music" to quite the extent that tomita has??? what's he up to these days. v. popular at firework displays, also.

bob snoom, Tuesday, 6 November 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

five years pass...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bhMgD_W9UY

if only the rest of zoolook was so great...

, Wednesday, 27 June 2007 18:49 (eleven years ago) Permalink

oh man that is hilariously 80's damaged, self-inflicted humor, it really is no wonder

you need a certain kind of hat on to enjoy the rest of zoolook maybe, but I love that whole record. even the slap-bass samples.

everything Jarre did 76 through 84 is fine by me.

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 27 June 2007 19:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R04P4h2cwo&mode=related&search=

video for 'zoolook' actually pretty dr.-calgari-good! directed by Marc Caro years before 'delicatessen' / 'city of lost children'

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 27 June 2007 19:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

So... I'm off to see him on Friday - bought the tickets in a rush of i-spy/tick off the artist nostalgia and now regretting it a bit. Especially as I've roped in a friend who really isnt into any electronic music, and I suspect my tastes have moved on from the late 80s (last time I really listened to JMJ). Plus what was promised as a "spectacular" just seems to be a load of lasers from the Youtube clips I seen

Feel free to rip the piss out of me now...

But - um - anyone else going?

Ant, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 19:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

So he's releasing (or re-releasing, who cares?) an Essentials/Rarities compilation soon... Time for a revival (or just a vival in many cases?)

I always think of him as the Gypsy Kings of electronic music.

broodje kroket (dog latin), Tuesday, 31 May 2011 18:51 (seven years ago) Permalink

That statement is as wacky as just about everything posted on this thread with the exception of Milton Parker's posts. That Essentials comp is great and I'm kinda stoked that the pre-Oxygene stuff is finally getting a proper release. I have heard those first two albums and they are cool if you are interested in odd-sounding electronic library music.

everything, Tuesday, 31 May 2011 19:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

EYE from boredoms remixed 'equinoxe part 5' a few years back. i thought that might get jarre some love from the hipsters, but most people just thought it was a new and radical EYE thing

beautiful cover, though: http://www.oogaboogastore.com/shop/music/detail/LiftBoys12.html

geeta, Tuesday, 31 May 2011 19:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

I said it in the Zombi thread and I'll say it here: people getting really excited about this new generation of synth-heavy instrumental rock really need to check out some JMJ - that new Zombi is pretty much a tribute to Magnetic Fields with rockier drums.

Sean Carruthers, Tuesday, 31 May 2011 20:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

imo Oxygene, Equinox, and Magnetic Fields are all classic, and Zoolook is some kind of uber-classic once in a lifetime achievement in unique sound. I should give another listen to the live one. Never heard of the EYE remix!

I have MP3s of that early stuff but have never really clicked with it, "library music" sounds accurate to me.

sleeve, Tuesday, 31 May 2011 20:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

I have just now this minute realized that Zombi the band has entirely nothing to do with Zomby the grimey UK dude. I think I need to hear that album now.

The live one you're talking about is the Concerts In China? I used to cane that one continually when I was a youngster (in fact my one shoplifting incident was getting caught trying to steal a cassette of this from Woolworths) but the vibe is a bit weird in retrospect. It's kind of like when James Last does rock'n'noll numbers - easy listening trying to rock out. The track selection is good obviously, since it's from his golden period but it lacks the shiny pop ambience of the studio albums.

everything, Tuesday, 31 May 2011 21:10 (seven years ago) Permalink

eg. Used to love this. Now :-S

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQo9niQEr4w

everything, Tuesday, 31 May 2011 21:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

>people getting really excited about this new generation of synth-heavy instrumental rock really need to check out some JMJ

seriously true!

'Concerts in China' is fair, his cheesiest tendencies come to the fore when he takes extended solos over the studio versions. And yeah it's got 'Orient Express' which has always been bad roller-disco, but it's got Arpeggiator which is better than most of the ninth-rate obscurities getting reissued and heralded that are nowhere close to the same league as 'Magnetic Fields' and 'Zoolook' are.

I still pull out 'Zoolook' occasionally for road trips, if it was good enough for Arthur C. Clarke it's good enough for me

Interested in the 'Rarities' disc -- the early 71/73 home studio stuff I'd agree have very modest arrangements, but the 68/69 GRM Studios stuff is actually pretty zonked in much the same way as Henry's 'Psyche Rock' or those Perrey-Kingsley records - when he had the resources, he wasn't a slacker

the first track on Rarities is undeniably good

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 31 May 2011 21:34 (seven years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

word to the wise: don't fall asleep while listening to 'Zoolook'. weirdest dreams ever.

geeta, Monday, 27 June 2011 16:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

kind of surprised that I'm finding Magnetic Fields and Zoolook better than his first two albums

frogbs, Monday, 26 September 2011 17:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

Magnetic Fields is great...have been listening to this on Rdio and on vinyl recently! (Had mad love for Zoolook at the time but not sure it holds up for me all these years later...it seems to be much more of its time.)

Sean Carruthers, Monday, 26 September 2011 17:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

It definitely is but besides some Harry Hosono records I don't know of anyone who abused the digital sampler of the 80's like that.

frogbs, Monday, 26 September 2011 17:57 (seven years ago) Permalink

I bought the Live In Your Living Room DVD not too long ago -- which is Oxygene live with a couple of other guys on what must be about three-quarters of s millions dollars in vintage gear. It's actually kind of amazing and wonderful. This isn't an "update" the way Oxygene 7-13 was -- but absolutely spot on renditions of music recorded 35 years ago.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 27 September 2011 05:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah i've watched that "live" dvd.
i even sat there with the 3d glasses on. old school blue/red glasses as opposed to the modern 3d visuals which does little other than make the weird lampshades stick out a little.
sounds the same as the original, only more upfront.
the live recording must have taken some setting up.
can well imagine its synth pr0n for people who like that kind of thing.

mark e, Tuesday, 27 September 2011 09:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

I like that kind of thing. It's a really good performance.

+1 on Zoolook, which Milton and I have expounded on over various threads (tho curiously not this one). Some really sophisticated sound design and even a catchy tune or two.

Does the rarities comp have the 12"s from that? 12" of Equinoxe Part 5 (I think) is also pretty great.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 27 September 2011 11:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

Laurie Anderson on "Diva"!

fear itself (Ówen P.), Tuesday, 27 September 2011 12:54 (seven years ago) Permalink

Does the rarities comp have the 12"s from that?

No, that only contains some of his pre-Oxygene stuff. Deliciously weird material, that.

Sebastian (Royal Mermaid Mover), Tuesday, 27 September 2011 13:13 (seven years ago) Permalink

I was actually able to track down those early albums. The soundtrack is crap (same theme, over and over again) but Deserted Palace is kinda neat, for 1972 electronica. Only one track really worked for me (Pogo Rock?) but it's a werid exercise and there aren't many albums like it.

frogbs, Tuesday, 27 September 2011 13:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that new rarities comp also contains too many tracks of that soundtrack - which has been released separately on CD already. But it is nice to have Eros Machine, La Cage, and the like in good quality remaster.

Sebastian (Royal Mermaid Mover), Tuesday, 27 September 2011 14:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

"Fourth Rendez-Vous" is really good. Sooner or later I'm gonna have to make a disc with all of Jarre's great 3-5 minute pop tunes - this, Oxygene 4, Equinoxe 5, Magnetic Fields 2, Zoolook, Zoolookologie, and whatever else

frogbs, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 15:42 (seven years ago) Permalink

oh dear:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ebMlcxMoDUQ#!

geeta, Wednesday, 12 October 2011 17:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

let's try that again:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebMlcxMoDUQ

geeta, Wednesday, 12 October 2011 17:39 (seven years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

1) The Time Machine (JMJ & Boys Noize)
2) Glory (JMJ & M83)
3) Close your eyes (JMJ & AIR)
4) Automatic (part 1) (JMJ & Vince Clarke)
5) Automatic (part 2) (JMJ & Vince Clarke)
6) If..! (JMJ & Little Boots)
7) Immortals (JMJ & Fuck Buttons)
8) Suns have gone (JMJ & Moby)
9) Conquistador (JMJ & Gesaffelstein)
10) Travelator (part 2) (JMJ & Pete Townshend)
11) Zero Gravity (JMJ & Tangerine Dream)
12) Rely on me (JMJ & Laurie Anderson)
13) Stardust (JMJ & Armin van Buuren)
14) Watching you (JMJ & 3D (Massive Attack))
15) A question of blood (JMJ & John Carpenter)
16) The train & the river (JMJ & Lang Lang)

Matt DC, Friday, 28 August 2015 13:37 (three years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Excellent new interview (in French). Gets really in depth about his past, working methods, the "industry". Very cool. http://www.liberation.fr/apps/2015/10/jmjarre/

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 9 October 2015 13:38 (three years ago) Permalink

I know Oxygene and Equinoxe are considered to be his classics, but I read more about the former than I ever do the latter. It's strange, even though Equinoxe is considered to be one of his best works, it still seldom seems to get talked about, especially in comparison to Oxygene. I see it as a far more upbeat work, too.

Turrican, Friday, 9 October 2015 13:55 (three years ago) Permalink

his first 4 records all deserve to be considered classics, if Oxygene is at least. there's a later album called Chronologie that's also very good.

frogbs, Friday, 9 October 2015 14:10 (three years ago) Permalink

He mentions in that interview that when he was mixing Equinoxe he had to lock the studio doors in order to prevent record company execs from barging in and taking his tapes. They were in such a frenzy to release the album they wouldn't let JMJ finish his work!

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 9 October 2015 14:44 (three years ago) Permalink

xpost He says good things about Chronologie here. Says he feels it didn't age poorly for a 90s album. He's not a fan of his last one - Teo & Tea

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 9 October 2015 14:46 (three years ago) Permalink

yeah I didn't read a single positive review of that one. I think the idea behind his newest release is cool, especially from such a veteran as Jarre, though I'm not expecting much honestly

frogbs, Friday, 9 October 2015 15:06 (three years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

*faaarrrrtttttt*

brimstead, Saturday, 31 October 2015 02:54 (three years ago) Permalink

house nation has some words for you

brimstead, Saturday, 31 October 2015 02:54 (three years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that list will be extremely helpful. When Oxygene 3 came out, there was a package with remasters of the first two albums, so I bought the whole thing, but I've never listened to anything else, so now I need to dig around. I doubt he'll ever fully replace Klaus Schulze as my go-to guy for long train rides, but you never know.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 14 March 2018 15:05 (nine months ago) Permalink

one advantage to Jean Michel Jarre is that he never released a 70-CD boxset

frogbs, Wednesday, 14 March 2018 15:07 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I tend to find pseudo-orchestral stuff to be a very dull look for electronica in general.

― bamboohouses, Wednesday, March 14, 2018 9:41 AM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

OTM as hell-- this is why the Vangelisaurus was extincted

when worlds collide I'll see you again (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 14 March 2018 15:29 (nine months ago) Permalink

JMJ honking on diminished chords is a feature, not a bug. Augmented chords too.

Xpost… I don’t think of Revolutions as a dull sounding record at all. What I like about it is how stupidly on the nose the whole Indutrial Revolutions suite is: grim slog of agrilabour -> building tempo of indutrialistaion -> white heat of techno capitalism –> post capitalism eco disaster/blues keytar solo. Like Koyannisqaatsi reduced to 16 minutes.

29 facepalms, Wednesday, 14 March 2018 15:51 (nine months ago) Permalink

Has anyone heard Musique pour Supermarché? Is it true it's quite experimental and difficult?

MaresNest, Wednesday, 14 March 2018 18:05 (nine months ago) Permalink

there is a copy floating around the internet, I think. I heard it once - the sound quality is quite poor - I remember thinking it was like an early version of Zoolook

frogbs, Wednesday, 14 March 2018 18:07 (nine months ago) Permalink

One of the tracks from Musique made it on to Zoolook, at least: Blah Blah Café

nevertheless, he stopped (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 14 March 2018 18:54 (nine months ago) Permalink

Music for Supermarkets is here and is great - very much a halfway house between Magnetic Fields and Zoolook. (It got a single radio broadcast before it was sold, hence the horrible FM sound quality).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvFK9-2Jmtw

About half of it turns up on later albums - mainly Zoolook, but also Rendezvous. The versions here are completely identical, which does rather cast doubt on Jarre's claims to have destroyed the masters. (Wouldn't be the only time something like this has happened to him either - see also the "30th anniversary re-recording" of Oxygene, which quite reasonably prompted a lawsuit from his former label because it's quite self-evidently from the original master tapes.)

bamboohouses, Thursday, 15 March 2018 13:50 (eight months ago) Permalink

How big a celebrity is Jarre in France? Is he say John Tesh famous or maybe Bob Seger famous or perhaps national treasure famous?

earlnash, Thursday, 15 March 2018 16:45 (eight months ago) Permalink

National treasure famous, but he toured 15-20,000-seaters last year in both France and the UK, if that's any indication.

Siegbran, Thursday, 15 March 2018 17:26 (eight months ago) Permalink

there are now 2 'classic albums' boxsets for JMJ, second set just released.
however, they have properly messed things around.
box 1 starts at Magnetic Fields,
box 2 has Oxygene.
neither box has Equinox.
surely they should have just done them in chrono order!?

mark e, Thursday, 15 March 2018 17:58 (eight months ago) Permalink

hats off fgti, that is one of the most dedicated and forgiving rankings of jarre I have seen! putting Chronologie at #2 is definitely an alternate-wormhole act of love I can only admire

moving 'moon machine' back onto main shuffle playlist now

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3XRbYLTOWI

Milton Parker, Thursday, 15 March 2018 19:48 (eight months ago) Permalink

Thanks Milton!

Interestingly enough, my stanning for "Chronologie", like my stanning for "Outside", was largely borne out of being in a position of ignorance-of-canon when I got into both Jarre and Bowie. I was 14 and 15 when I got into both artists, respectively, and bought all their stuff all at once. I was, much later, amazed to read that BowieNet ranked, say, "Aladdin Sane" so highly, but didn't give a fuck about "Outside"-- "are Bowie fans deaf?" I thought, "his vocals on Ziggy Stardust sound so nasal and whiny..."-- and I'd blast "I'm Deranged" with my middle finger raised

But yeah same goes for Jarre. I get that the synths got chintzier, the mood became closer to "Les Miserables", but I just had so much more of a teenage emotional response to "Chronologie" (and "Les Chants Magnetiques") than the widely-beloved "Oxygene". We watched Gallipoli in Grade 10 English class, and being the only Jarre fan in town (probably), I told friends "yeah that's not even close to his best song though" and lent them my "Chronologie" cassette

nevertheless, he stopped (flamboyant goon tie included), Thursday, 15 March 2018 22:34 (eight months ago) Permalink

Judging from the comments on RYM, you're not the only one.

Siegbran, Thursday, 15 March 2018 23:20 (eight months ago) Permalink

Chronologie has always been a favourite with the hardcore Jarre fans (I used to be on the discussion lists back in the day).

Interesting that Metamorphoses is in that new Classics box (with new art, oddly). I wonder if that means it'll finally get a digital release.

bamboohouses, Friday, 16 March 2018 13:49 (eight months ago) Permalink

i still think AERO is the best way to experience JMJ.
all the best bits in massive wall shaking stereo.

mark e, Friday, 16 March 2018 23:14 (eight months ago) Permalink

(the "30th anniversary re-recording" of Oxygene, which quite reasonably prompted a lawsuit from his former label because it's quite self-evidently from the original master tapes.)

I just told this anecdote and Kathryn said “putting the G back in Gallic”

nevertheless, he stopped (flamboyant goon tie included), Saturday, 17 March 2018 03:59 (eight months ago) Permalink

this LP is my favorite Oxygene pastiche:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBAk6NnFOL8

had (crüt), Saturday, 17 March 2018 04:30 (eight months ago) Permalink

Do hardcore Jarre fans call themselves JarreHeads? (don't look at me, I'm a Philip K. Dick fan)

StanM, Saturday, 17 March 2018 08:18 (eight months ago) Permalink

I am not the first to mention it but Oxygene Pt. 17 should not be overlooked in the trilogy. It very much belongs with it’s forbears.

As noted upthread, the Electronica albums have their moments – I rep for the T. Dream collaboration as it is the last thing Froese released (or first posthumous release I can’t remember). The Air collaboration is also very much everything you would hope it would be given their ancestry.

Also, while it’s amusing that Jarre was sued about the Oxygene re-recording—it does sound awfully close—was that actually proven? Jarre did an extensive interview with Sound on Sound to discuss how he (re-)made that record – and the live DVD (“Live In Your Living Room”) also sounds very, very close (and is quite good). Interview is here: https://www.soundonsound.com/people/jean-michel-jarre

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 17 March 2018 17:37 (eight months ago) Permalink

five months pass...

The new Planet Jarre comp looks like it's shaping up to be a bit more interesting than these things usually are. Some unreleased rarities (including one of the tracks from Music For Supermarkets that didn't later turn up on Zoolook or Rendez-Vous), some new bits (Herbalizer is a fun/silly breaks/EDM workout thing), and some new versions of old bits (a studio recording of Magnetic Fields 2 based on the Concerts in China live version, nice new remix of Oxygene 8).

Also, Oxygene 7-13, Metamorphoses and Geometry of Love all popped up on Spotify (and presumably other streaming services) today, so now when I bang the drum for Metamorphoses people can actually go and listen to it.

bamboohouses, Friday, 24 August 2018 15:57 (three months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

There's going to be an Equinoxe sequel - Equinoxe Infinity - in November. There's a preview track up on Spotify, it's an OTT bit of sci-fi bombast that doesn't really give much away about the rest of the record. Two different sleeves, which both continue his recent losing streak on the design front, but are magnificently proggy.

Also, Planet Jarre's out today. Track choice and sequencing are excellent - I love the divisions into Soundscapes, Themes, Sequences, Explorations & Early Works which seem designed to add weight to the idea of Jarre as someone with an interesting and varied body of work. But most of the tracks are just faded excerpts - seems a shame that they weren't properly blended or mixed, especially given that there's a bunch of new reworks/remixes on here.

The revised Chronologie 4 has an absolutely dire new MIDI electric guitar solo at the end, btw.

bamboohouses, Friday, 14 September 2018 14:06 (three months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Equinoxe Infinity came out yesterday. My expectations were incredibly low, but actually I was very pleasantly surprised. It's a denser and more substantial piece of work than Oxygene 3, and more understandably more cohesive than the Electronic albums.

A few tracks (mainly Movement 3) are essentially chord changes with aimless soloing on top (a recent habit that really blights some of the remixes on Planet Jarre - Zoolookologie and Chrono 4 spring to mind) but there's some surprises. Movement 6 is full italo disco, and Movement 9 has a surprisingly minimal approach that caught my attention.

Jarre's settled into an interesting groove in the last few years - he's comfortable making essentially retro synthwave with splashes of the classic Oxygene sound palette. None of it will ever be as startling as the original Oxygene-Zoolook run (and I still wish he'd pursued Metamorphoses' train of thought a bit further) but his current stuff is fun and vital (way more so than many of his contemporaries) and sits pretty well alongside modern synthwavers. I hope he maintains this level of output for a bit.

BTW, the Planet Jarre podcast - six episodes of Matt Berry interviewing Jarre - is well worth a listen.

bamboohouses, Saturday, 17 November 2018 11:11 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Listening to this now ... thanks for the heads up.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 19:52 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Had a chance to listen to this a few times ... I don't like it as much as Oxygene 3, which was a worthy entry in the trilogy (and had at least 1 classic track) whereas some of this feels like Jarre trying on styles for size. That worked okay for the Electronica albums given the format, but feels a little superficial here.

That said, I agree with most of what you said about this record--would add that in addition to Movement 6, Movement 8 feels pretty italo too--and his career -- a 70 year-old guy has no business doing something like this even half-decently, much less pretty well.

Now on to Metamorphoses ...

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 21 November 2018 19:00 (three weeks ago) Permalink

A friend and I saw JMJ at the Hydro in Glasgow a couple of years ago and came away feeling he’d possibly spent at least a little bit of the ‘90s at the odd rave and checking out then contemporary dance music.

michaellambert, Wednesday, 21 November 2018 19:39 (three weeks ago) Permalink

are there any 70s synth artists still releasing albums yet to avail themselves of the animoog 'descent' preset

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 21 November 2018 20:09 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Bumped into JMJ on his own at a Carl Cox DJ night at Rex Club in Paris in late 90s. He was wearing an electric blue suit

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 21 November 2018 20:32 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Bumped into JMJ on his own at a Carl Cox DJ night at Rex Club in Paris in late 90s. He was wearing an electric blue suit

― licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 21 November 2018 20:32 (seven minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Thanks, all the corroboration I needed.

michaellambert, Wednesday, 21 November 2018 20:40 (three weeks ago) Permalink

A friend and I saw JMJ at the Hydro in Glasgow a couple of years ago and came away feeling he’d possibly spent at least a little bit of the ‘90s at the odd rave and checking out then contemporary dance music.

I feel that's corroborated by the music isn't it? Chronologie is hardly a dance record but it definitely dips into that palette. And he was pretty quick off the bat with remixes around that time too, Slam, Laurent Garnier etc all doing stuff around that time.

I think 'relevance' is an enduring concern for him. I've got this theory that he's on a 20 year cycle where his stuff dovetails with what's going on in popular (electronic) music - late 70s obvs, late 90s (where he's doing techno-ish analog stuff with hundreds of remixes at the point where analog festishism is really kicking in), and now (synthwave, EDM spectacle). I think whereas a lot of his contemporaries are happy to stick in their bubble, he wants to be where the trends are at, albeit with extremely variable results.

bamboohouses, Friday, 23 November 2018 12:47 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Favourite bit of the Berry-Jarre podcasts is where JMJ is describing how only the first-generation Electro-Harmonix Small Stone phaser pedal had the "silky" sound he likes, and only really when the battery was beginning to die. "Brand new it is too harsh, around 8V it is good, after that it's too weak. You have about an hour where it's good." It's great him re-create the Oxygene sound from just the Eminent 310, plus pedal(s).

Michael Jones, Friday, 23 November 2018 13:33 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I really enjoyed the podcasts. The gear chat is super-nerdy (in a good way) but I enjoyed hearing some of the bonkers live stories as well, like the chaos of the Docklands gig. Apparently he's got an autobiography on the way next year.

bamboohouses, Friday, 23 November 2018 14:15 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I feel that's corroborated by the music isn't it?

― bamboohouses, Friday, 23 November 2018 12:47 (eight hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Oh, definitely, I was being a wee bit glib with my corroboration post. I think it was pretty clear from what he played that night that he'd kept up with developments in electronic music and brought in elements to his own work - I thought it was pretty successful.

Will need to check out the podcasts.

michaellambert, Friday, 23 November 2018 20:57 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Oh, definitely, I was being a wee bit glib with my corroboration post.

Sorry, I re-read your post and realised I completely misunderstood the point you're making, and came off incredibly sharp there. Apologies!

Wish I'd caught the recent tour. The only time I've seen him was the completely live version of Oxygene at the Royal Albert Hall, which was fantastic.

bamboohouses, Saturday, 24 November 2018 09:48 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Really enjoyed those pods with Matt Berry.

Jarre and François De Roubaix must surely have known or been aware of each other, no? You'd imagine even possibly a bit of rivalry.

FDR also had a home studio in Paris (I think) in the early 70s (8 track, apparently). I guess it was the gear around at the time but he's also using a VCS 3, Mini Pops and even running string organs through phasers.

Not to give JMJ a hard time but FDR remains perpetually underacknowledged.

https://youtu.be/DaklmU9HzjQ

(The percussion in that sounds like tapping the side of a cheap condensor mic.)

Wegmüller Fruit Corner (Noel Emits), Sunday, 25 November 2018 14:06 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I have a soft spot for Jean-Michel Jarre. frogbs up the page mentions Sylvester Stallone, which is the kind of genius observation that brings me back to Ilxor every decade or so. Jean Michael Jarre is the Sylvester Stallone of electronic music. You know how some people like to synchronise Pink Floyd's "Echoes" with the last twenty minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey? You can do that with the careers of Sylvester Stallone and Jean Michel Jarre, and they line up almost perfectly. Slightly atypical initial hit; competent sequels; return to triumph in the mid-80s followed by rapid commercial decline; occasional attempts at artistic credibility; all ending with surprisingly competent rehashes of earlier ideas.

Think about it. Rendezvous is basically Rocky IV but as a piece of music - it's so bombastic and upbeat! It makes me wish I could go back in time and vote for Ronald Reagan. Revolutions is Rambo: First Blood Part II, slightly grimmer and not very well made although popular. They even begin with the letter R. R. It's not a coincidence.

I've always loved the way Jarre had this obvious burning desire to be taken seriously - along the same lines as Peter Gabriel or David Byrne - so his early albums have these little ambient vignettes and are like gateway drugs to hardcore ambient and systems music. At the same time he was never willing to abandon the mass market and go all the way. In my opinion the title track from Waiting for Cousteau is way up there with Global Communication's 76:14 as the best ambient music from the early 1990s but the album as a whole is dragged down by the television game show themes on side one.

I think Zoolook is his most successful go at crossing over into the high end of the mainstream. It's like liquid dayglo 1980s postmoderism. Memphis furniture design in audio form. But from what I remember it didn't chart very well, and by that time he was competing with e.g. Art of Noise. In my opinion his use of samples was more inventive than Art of Noise but he didn't have Paul Morley phoning up the NME every few minutes so Zoolook tends to be forgotten nowadays. I wonder if the critics disliked the fact he was the good-looking son of a successful composer who had access to masses of equipment; they never felt the need to give him any help.

I'm still impressed with the way that the bassline from Equinoxe V becomes the rhythm of Equinox VI, which turns into an awesome wobbly bass solo at the end, and then becomes the basic track for Equinoxe VII. That must have been very difficult in 1977 with eight-track tape and no MIDI sync. Almost as if he was a classically-trained musician who knew how to plan things out on paper. I think the composed aspect of his music appealed to me as a kid because I grew up with computer game soundtracks. His music was obviously written, not improvised; if you fiddle with the stereo balance control on his early records you can unpick the tracks and see how he built up the music because he used hard left-right panning.

He updated his sound effectively with Magnetic Fields, which sounds a bit like Depeche Mode albeit lusher. He then bought a Fairlight, which means that his 1980s albums sound very dated nowadays. Rendezvous mostly works. Revolutions has its moments, but that was the point when old-wave synth stars of his generation were left behind by acid house and drum'n'bass - the likes of Squarepusher and Autechre and Aphex Twin took up the torch, but they owed nothing to Jan Hammer and Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre etc, they came from a completely different tradition.

I saw him live at Wembley for the Chronologie tour but I barely remember that album; Oxygene 7-13 was okay; Metamorphses felt like a misguided attempt to copy Air; I haven't heard a single note of his music after that. I remember reading that Cousteau was largely generated with software running on an Atari ST; the original recording was hours long, it would be great if it was released at some point.

Maurice Jarre, his dad, also used electronics in some of his 1980s film scores, but they sound nothing alike. Also, Jean Michel Jarre's videos from the 1970s and 1980s are incredibly naff, and his large-scale concerts were shot by Mike Mansfield, who had no visual sense whatsoever. Also I'm drunk and earlier today Shane McGowan got married; he's in his sixties but looks as if he's about to regenerate into the starchild and yet he's a pussy magnet and he outlived Mark E Smith, so who's laughing now?

Ashley Pomeroy, Monday, 26 November 2018 22:55 (two weeks ago) Permalink

<< really good post, and I'd co-sign most of it (but I look more fondly on O7-13 and Metamorphoses. One thing I discovered recently though:

I remember reading that Cousteau was largely generated with software running on an Atari ST; the original recording was hours long, it would be great if it was released at some point.

Over the weekend, I read quite an interesting album-by-album interview with Jarre, where he explains that Cousteau was all done by hand in a marathon 24-hour session. Apparently the original is 75 mins (which, as you say, I'd love to hear).

http://domino.elfworld.org/the-journey-to-equinoxe-infinity-part-3-paying-the-piano-player-to-stop-playing/

(Apparently the 22 min version on the LP is a different section to the 45 min version on the CD, but I've never listened to the LP close enough to verify myself.)

bamboohouses, Tuesday, 27 November 2018 08:19 (two weeks ago) Permalink

the likes of Squarepusher and Autechre and Aphex Twin took up the torch, but they owed nothing to Jan Hammer and Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre etc, they came from a completely different tradition.

I wouldn't say that - it's hard to believe that any synth producer growing up in the late 70s/early 80s would not be directly influenced by these guys.

Autechre in 2010:

DD: Having been so influential in electronic music, who do you think has influenced yourselves?
Autechre: Well, probably everything we ever heard, but there's some stuff that sticks out. there's not really room to put everything and we probably forgot a ton of stuff, but this would be a pretty good list of stuff we like (roughly in the order we heard them): Jjean Michel Jarre, Giorgio Moroder, Human League, Vangelis, Ultravox, John Carpenter, Kraftwerk, Grace Jones, Juan Atkins, Depeche Mode, Public Enemy, EPMD, Derrick May, Carl Craig, Baby Ford, 808 State, A Guy Called Gerald, LFO, Joey Beltram, Mark Broom, RZA, Squarepusher, Venetian Snares... etc, plus some of the stuff below.

Siegbran, Tuesday, 27 November 2018 08:42 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I see the ambient/IDM of the early 90s (Biosphere, Autechre, FSOL, Aphex Twin, Namlook et al) musically as a direct descendent of Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Hassell, Roach etc but made by young people for a new generation, those old boomers were never going to be trendy in the 90s electronic music climate.

Siegbran, Tuesday, 27 November 2018 08:54 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Revolutions was also v popular sample fodder for a lot of the early Warp crowd. Can't remember which track off the top of my head, but the beat from September is used very prominently in a track on the first Artificial Intelligence comp.

bamboohouses, Tuesday, 27 November 2018 10:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Re his dad. Some of Maurice Jarre’s synth + orchestra scores are wonderful - particularly recommend Solar Crisis. Enemy Mine as well. And Year of Living Dangerously. He had this thing of having like five synthesists playing live together which engendered a cool electronic chamber music feeling. Some of the purely electronic scores are of-their-time nightmares though (eg Dreamscape).

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 27 November 2018 13:00 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Ashley your post is so interesting!

I myself have had a sweet-tooth for Jarre-as-melodicist, but your assessment of (for example) "En Attendant Cousteau"'s A-side as being "TV-show theme song music" is very real. Chronologie is an album I've always ranked as highly as Oxygène and Zoolook just because... the melodies are insufferably nice. I think I appreciated him more as a pop-writer than as an electronic musician maybe

fgti is for (flamboyant goon tie included), Tuesday, 27 November 2018 13:44 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Love JMJ but, quite honestly, I think De Roubaix, in the short time he made electronic music and with his considerably limited setup, beats Jarre to the punch in terms of the sheer beauty and inventiveness of his work. If only he hadn't loved scuba diving so much.

An Uphill Battle For Legumes (Capitaine Jay Vee), Tuesday, 27 November 2018 13:46 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Having said that - here's a fave JMJ pop production. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNuKs_N2c7w

An Uphill Battle For Legumes (Capitaine Jay Vee), Tuesday, 27 November 2018 13:48 (two weeks ago) Permalink

He always suddenly shifts gears into a diminished chord and holds it with a raised eyebrow like "you like that? do you like it when I do that?"

https://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a6/Sprad/jarreconcertgravity2_zpsm07xvyod.png

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 27 November 2018 19:06 (two weeks ago) Permalink

thanks for that interview link bamboohouses. didn't know about this 1975 track!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRzlF9ahlyY

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 27 November 2018 20:19 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Sorry, I re-read your post and realised I completely misunderstood the point you're making, and came off incredibly sharp there. Apologies!

Wish I'd caught the recent tour. The only time I've seen him was the completely live version of Oxygene at the Royal Albert Hall, which was fantastic.

― bamboohouses, Saturday, 24 November 2018 09:48 (four days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink


Not a problem!

Picked up a cheap copy of 'Magnetic Fields' today, just finished listening to it but not sure what I make of it. Sounds quite 8-bit game music in places!

michaellambert, Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:35 (two weeks ago) Permalink

JMJ's probably the artist who's been on and off my iPod the most, so I decided to grab Planet Jarre to see if it would spark some newfound appreciation of the man's work. It's a really cool compilation, broken up into themes with roughly a single LP's worth of music each, which I guess are like the "continents" on JMJ's planet. Clearly a lot of this was remixed or re-recorded - "Zoolookologie" is such a crazy banger on here - and I think the bigger intention is to show "50 Years of Jean-Michel Jarre" as one continuous body of work, where a track from 1979 can stand up next to something from 2016 or 1985 or 2000 without any overwhelming difference in sound or technique. Very neat but as mentioned by Mr. Houses they really should've put some effort into segueing it all together. I mean half the work's done already. Anyway, turns out Jarre does have a lot of music I really like, what do you know?

frogbs, Wednesday, 5 December 2018 19:16 (one week ago) Permalink

me loading all my Jarre stuff back on my iPod

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DmQorVNU4AAl14q.jpg

frogbs, Thursday, 6 December 2018 21:59 (one week ago) Permalink

Very neat but as mentioned by Mr. Houses they really should've put some effort into segueing it all together.

as I mentioned earlier : AERO.

a brilliant 70+ minute mixtape of all the best bits in massive widescreen stereo.

mark e, Friday, 7 December 2018 22:25 (one week ago) Permalink


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