Sunday, 10 March 2019

Jean Michel Jarre "Equinoxe" (1978)

In the mood for more of this nostalgic, imaginative yet primal electronic music, I picked up French composer Jean Michel Jarre's following record from the classic Oxygene. In the two years elapsed since, the music has advanced with a subtle refinement in composure and the evolution of bold and sharp, chirpy synths. In the brightest appearances they become reminiscent of Chiptune and 8-Bit tones in passing. The records use of environmental sound, wind, waves and the like are far more complimentary and overall the visions conjured resist any detraction from the quirkiness off these experimental noises, although blurbs, beeps, blips and barbs talk like an alien voice on Part 4 inbetween the sounds of limbs slashing through air like hasty karate chops.

It seems that in its beginning Equinoxe leans more so into the dark, paranoid and dystopian realm. With decades of music between this and now, what once may have been quite the shock now sounds more ambiguous and open to interpretation in the wake of progressively evil music. It has its upbeat and cheerful tunes too, Part 5 being a particularly playful, the soundtrack to an interplanetary cosmic fairground. These adventurous, chirpy melodies continue into the next part and then the record slowly finds its way to a darker setting before the roar of thunder and patter of rain leads us to the present with the sounds of French fairground music panning the stereo. It ushers in a contrasting conclusion to the record with more spacey, galactic wonder.

Equinoxe is seemingly a step up in production but it mostly spins similar ideas to its predecessor, which has quite the impact on first listen. Its an enjoyable record, the atmosphere and adventure is ripe and vivid but also novelty too. I can't help but feel I'll enjoy each record less as the wonder of a fresh stylistic pallet subsides. I spend a fair amount of time with these records, maybe ten or more spins before I write these blogs and Its music like this I'm sure you can form strong bonds with if it fills a gap in your musical experience or arrives at the right time. For all my listenss little has stuck with me in terms of its key melodies, they mostly fall back into the tapestry of instruments that make up its atmosphere.

Rating: 6/10