Friday, March 28, 2008

Album of the Day

Oxygene, by Jean Michel Jarre (1976/2007): Lately, I've decided to explore electronic music a little bit. Obviously, progressive rock always relied on electronic gizmos, and I am a keyboard player, after all, so you'd think it would be a natural thing to do. Still, I didn't know much about the more purely electronic synth-based stuff.

This seemed like a good place to start, as Oxygene was the seminal work of an electronic music pioneer. On top of that, he rerecorded it last year with modern studio equipment, but still using a dazzling array of vintage 70s synths. As if that weren't enough, he got three other guys to come in and do the whole thing live, with a few improvisatory detours along the day, and filmed it for an included DVD. After a few listens/viewings, I'm really getting into it. On this album, at least, melody takes a back seat to washes of sound, although several parts are propelled by electronic percussion and sequenced parts that gives it some form.

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