On October 16th, 2015, pioneering French electronic music composer and producer Jean-Michel Jarre has released his newest album, his first in eight years, “Electronica 1: The Time Machine” on Ultra Music. “Electronica 1: The Time Machine” is the first half of a double-album, with the second half set for release the spring of 2016. The project was conceived with Jarre’s wish to encompass the last few decades of electronic music with the participation of different artists of different generations linked directly or indirectly to this scene.
Looking to shed a light on the legacy – as well as the future – of electronic music, Jarre called on an array of global superstars to help record Electronica, in all 30 individual artists, for the two-part release. The first installment Electronica 1: The Time Machine features an eclectic line-up – personally chosen by Jarre – that includes fellow French acts like M83‘s Anthony Gonzalez (Glory), AIR (Close Your Eyes) and Gesaffelstein (Conquistador); British groundbreakers such as The Who‘s Pete Townshend (Travelator Part 1), Depeche Mode/Erasure‘s Vince Clarke (Automatic Part 1-2) and Little Boots‘ Victoria Hesketh (If…!); Bristol-based Massive Attack’s 3D (Watching You) and Fuck Buttons (Immortals); multi-media performance artists Moby (Suns Have Gone) and Laurie Anderson (Rely on Me), Dutch producer Armin van Buuren (Stardust); German forerunners Tangerine Dream (Zero Gravity) and Boys Noize (The Time Machine) as well as left-field picks like film director John Carpenter (A Question of Blood) and Grammy-nominated Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang (The Train and the River).
Along with the release of the album, Jarre has made available a track story video regarding the song Close Your Eyes with AIR.
Nicolas Godin of AIR tells Thump about their collaboration, “We are passionate about electronic music and working with Jean Michel Jarre expanded our field of experimentations. This collaboration reflected both of our knowledge in the electronic world, from tape loops to moon safari vocoders.”
With Electronica, Jean-Michel Jarre offers both a celebration and an expansion of his pioneering work in electronic music, showing where it’s been, where it is and where it’s going in his typically utopian dream of joining the world through sound and vision. These releases represent a milestone for Jean-Michel Jarre, whose work has been cited by many of the participants as being fundamental in forging their own creative careers.
“Since the 1960s, Jean-Michel Jarre has been a pioneer of electronic pop, with arpeggiator-loving ideas that made their way into dance music and soundtracks. “Electronica 1: The Time Machine” is the first volume of a collection of recent tracks made with musicians as diverse as Pete Townshend, Laurie Anderson, Moby, Gesaffelstein, Air, M83 and his German contemporaries Tangerine Dream. They defied the electronic-music norm by collaborating not online but in person.”
– Jon Pareles, New York Times (September 13, 2015)
“Electronic music pioneer Jarre teams with his fellow Frenchman in M83 for this enigmatic track [Glory], which comes with an even eerier video. This – along with news of additional collaborations with Tangerine Dream, Massive Attack’s Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja and techno artist Gesaffelstein – has us extremely anxious to hear Jarre’s new studio album…”
– Brian Mansfield, USA Today (June 26, 2015)
“…he’s back with a vengeance: for his new LP, he’s enlisted some of electronic music’s greatest modern pioneers for one of the biggest compilation albums we’ve ever heard. Boys Noize, Gesaffelstein, Moby, M83, Fuck Buttons, Pete Townshend, Massive Attack and Armin van Buuren all feature on Electronica 1. Impressive, right? …10/10”
“JMJ has seldom enjoyed the same sort of adulation as his electro contemporaries, most of whom he outsold by a wide margin. Electronicais a re-statement of the Jarre daring and brand, with help from illustrious friends. The opener, The Time Machine, a collaboration with Boys Noize, is filmic and techno-tub-thumping,after which the mood switches deftly via the sexy whisper of “Close Your Eyes” (with Air), the sweet, instant synth-pop of “If…!” (Little Boots), the tumbling, rumbling arpeggios of “Immortals” (Fuck Buttons), and “Suns Have Gone” (Moby), an alienated thing of beauty. Tangerine Dream mumble sublimely on “Zero Gravity,” Laurie Anderson is cheekily predatory on “Rely On Me,” while Pete Townshend is panicked yet liberated on the brutal beats of what appears to be an end-of-life in “Travelator (Part 2).” All in all, this is an unqualified triumph. 4 out of 5.”
– David Buckley, MOJO
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)
ELectronica is a two volume project with 30 collaborators in total. “Electronica 1: The Time Machine” is out now in North America on Ultra Music. “Electronica 2″ will follow in spring 2016.