Less influential electronic artists than Jean-Michel Jarre have been far more acclaimed. Why? Was he too successful? Oxygène (12m copies sold since 1976) is the album on every parental shelf that nobody much mentions. His vast outdoor concerts have occupied several slots in the Guinness Book of Records. But his lack of critical status is not all down to snobbery.Partly, it’s what he influenced: which in addition to ambient, rave and trance – genres he justly reclaims for himself on his new tour – includes 40 years of commercial and corporate music. That isn’t his fault. His own work is neither insipid nor sterile, but a lot that sounds like it is. And partly it’s what he evokes, or rather, what he doesn’t. Read more.

Advertisements