jean-michel-jarre-the-guardian

Pete Townshend, M83 and Fuck Buttons appear on the electronica pioneer’s latest studio project. He explains how he was ‘vampirised’ by the epic outdoor shows that made him famous.

In a small room in the London office of his record label, Jean-Michel Jarre is explaining the exhausting-sounding business of making his new album, which he describes as “a four-year-long initiation journey”. Electronica 1: The Time Machine took so long not only because he insisted on having a different high-profile collaborator for each track, but also because he insisted on meeting each of them in person, rather than swapping sound files over the internet. As it turned out, so many people wanted to work with him that even a 70-minute long, 16-track album couldn’t accommodate them all; a second volume is due next spring.

Critics have always been a bit sniffy about Jarre, ever since he rocked up with his synthesisers and his multi-part instrumental albums at the height of punk. But anyone who doubts his influence over latterday electronic music should have a look at Electronica 1’s tracklisting, which features a startling supporting cast: Dutch EDM maven Armin Van Buuren alongside Pete Townshend and film-maker and soundtrack composer John Carpenter, Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang next to Fuck Buttons, Boys Noize, Air and M83. “All these people have in common two different things,” he says. “One, they have an organic approach to sound. Also, they’re all geeks.” Read more…

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