ELECTRONIC music was always supposed to be about looking to the future, but French pioneer Jean Michel Jarre worries that we’re getting blinded by misty-eyed nostalgia.
Chatting about his new album Electronica, Jarre concedes that he carries 40 years of baggage — he’s a founding father of synth music and pop culture shorthand for electronic maximalism. His 19th studio album is an attempt to reconcile his fanatical futurism with a need to mark electronic music’s heritage.
“Generation after generation you have this rather reactionary attitude that yesterday was better and tomorrow will be worse,” he says. “I think we have to rebuild the future. The beauty of electronic music is that it has a family and it has a heritage and also a future.”
Jarre says Electronica is his “most ambitious” album yet — serious words from a man who regularly breaks his own world records for concert numbers (3.5 million in Moscow still stands), and turns whole cities into blank canvases for laser and light shows. The five-note motif in Oxygene IV is one of the most recognisable melodies in recorded music, and there’s a minor planet named ‘Jarre 4422’ somewhere in the galaxy. The man thinks big. Read more