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ELECTRONICA 1: The Time Machine
“Electronica is a concept based on the idea that I wanted to gather around me, people from different generations, people who have influenced me and being a constant source of inspiration, people who are shaping one way or another electronic music. It’s like gathering a tribe of friends, people sharing some similar vision to mine” Jean-Michel Jarre.
“I had no idea in the beginning if this project was going to work but everybody I contacted said yes. It was also very important to me, to travel physically, to meet the collaborators, to have direct contact and work together properly. The project grew far beyond my expectations with a lot more collaborations than I thought at the beginning, so I decided to divide the project in two separate albums: Electronica 1 and Electronica 2” says Jarre discussing the challenge of marshaling 30-odd collaborations.
With his selection of artists running from legendary contemporaries as diverse as Tangerine Dream through to The Who’s Pete Townshend and Laurie Anderson right through to established stars such as Moby, Erasure’s Vince Clarke and Air, and on to cutting-edge acts like Boys Noize, Fuck Buttons and Gesaffelstein, the challenge for Jarre was to maintain a level of consistency throughout the album. He did so by essentially composing the tracks themselves in order to help maintain his own sound across the wide variety of moods he managed to record.
“The process I used almost systematically with each track on the album involved composing the track with each collaborator in mind. The whole challenge was to arrive with a demo that was convincing, but which also left enough space for the collaborator to work on that track and to change it and add their personality,” he says of the collaborative process. “It’s not something artificial, it’s not like featuring artists for the sake of it. For every artist, every collaborator in this project, there is a reason why, a reason why in terms of music, in terms of sound, inspiration; this creates the flesh of Electronica,” he states. “My whole life and career as musician is covered on this project through the different styles and facets of electronic music.”
And with that, it is over to Jean-Michel himself to offer you, the listener, his own guided tour of what is arguably his most personal work to date. Or at least the first installment of that: Electronica 1 - The Time Machine...
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