Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene 3

I checked out Reddit after getting back from dinner and saw a post about a new album from Jean Michel Jarre.

Five minutes later and I’m listening to it.

This is quite a different sequence of events that lead to my first Jean Michel Jarre album purchase, Oxygene, in 1977, almost a year after it was released in his native France.

The first time I heard about that album was while listening to the radio late at night while still in school at home in Leeds, possibly Radio Caroline.

I had to write down who it was, catch the bus to the record store the next day, bring it home and play it on my mono record player. I ended up building a stereo record player out of two old mono record players and a stereo cartridge because it said it was a stereo record and I wanted to hear it in stereo.

The track I heard on the radio a week earlier, Oxygene IV, was to became an electronic music anthem of sorts, leading to lots more albums, high profile international shows and quite the rock and roll lifestyle for a guy who started off recording electronic instrumental music in his kitchen and wondering about who might be interested in listening to it.

So here we are, forty years later, and his new music is being delivered at the speed of light to people all around the world, and it sounds like I only just finished putting Oxygene Part 2 back in its sleeve.

Of course I’m hearing new sounds here and there, from time to time, but the classic EMS Synthi and VCS3 swoops are as strong as ever, only they don’t come across as dated of course, they are being used more than ever these days. Oxygène Part 20 introduces pitch shifted organ sounds and ambience, and why not, and I’m not sure if I’m not hearing an Arp Solina in there towards the end.

It really doesn’t matter what he’s using, it sounds like electronic music.