When Jean-Michel Jarre helped create electronic music in the 1970s, the sound came off as revolutionary. With the genre now increasingly mainstream, Jarre is seeking to trace its evolution.

In an album to be released Friday, Jarre’s first of new material in eight years, the French artist has reached out to other musicians he sees as critical in electronic music, heading with them into studios to showcase their unique styles.

Electronica 1: The Time Machine,” which will be followed by a second volume next year, features compositions by Jarre with artists as diverse as English trip-hoppers Massive Attack, Vince Clarke of synthpop sensations Erasure, downtempo activist DJ Moby and even guitarist Pete Townshend of rock legends The Who. Jarre, who is both eager to speak philosophically about music and up-to-date on the latest pop trends, scoffs at the notion that his album is simply the latest collection of celebrity mash-ups, a common industry formula for chart-topping singles. Read more…