Electronic Music star Jean-Michel Jarre's new album Electronica 1: The Time Machine includes an array of superstar collaborations with Pete Townshend, Tangerine Dream, Hans Zimmer, Vince Clarke, Cyndi Lauper, Moby, Laurie Anderson, and more. Read an excerpt from the feature, from November Keyboard, and watch a video of Jarre in the studio:
Working with such a varied group of artists means you’re going to get a wide audience, but Time Machine definitely sounds like a Jean-Michel Jarre album. Did you worry about creating a cohesive sound from so many different sessions?
"I didn’t hesitate because I knew somehow it would work. If you think about having an album where you have Pete Townshend and then you have Tangerine Dream and then Laurie and then you have Armin van Buuren and then Massive Attack, and John Carpenter, and Lang Lang, you might say, “What is all this?” But actually, I think that it really makes sense, which is very interesting for me in terms of [what it tells you about] electronic music—there’s this kind of timeless- ness about the idea of electronic music.As we know, electronic music originated in Germany and France, coming from the tradition of classical music. It’s got nothing to do with jazz or blues or rock. Then later on, brilliant American musicians linked with electronic music. But the foundation is really coming from Europe. What is interesting is, if you take for instance the track with Tangerine Dream and the track with F*** Buttons, you have maybe four or five decades of difference. But you don’t know which track could have been done by people of the older generation or by newcomers.
"There is this kind of timelessness in this project that I really appreciate. I can say that because I am not the only one responsible for this. What I really wanted to do was to merge our DNAs in a rather fair, balanced situation where you could listen toa track with Air, with Moby—you could instantly recognize who is doing what and try to find the right balance between their identity and mine."