lundi 20 décembre 2010

JEAN MICHEL JARRE: Les Chants Magnétiques (1978)

Three mega success in line! There are few artists that are able to do that much, especially in a creative level that high. After Oxygene and Equinox, Jean Michel Jarre repeats the exploit with the most dazzling progressive work of his career. Without having the commercial capacity of its first two opuses, Magnetic Fields/ Les Chants Magnétiques is as much sublime. In my opinion, it is the most complete and the most mature work of Jarre in date. It’s a turning point in the career of the French synthesist who becomes one of the first ones to use massively the technique of samplings, paving the way to the synth madness of Zoolook and enriching Jarre scenic imposing bearing in concerts.
Les Chants Magnétiques I starts on a splendid sequential surge which follows its trace in the echo of its loops. This whirlwind of melodious notes will mark Jean Michel Jarre's history story because it will be uses as intro for several local TV broadcasts; weather reports, breaking news, documentaries, broadcast jingles and the famous American series Bare Essence, in 1982-1983. After this intro, the rhythm livens up on a good bass line and penetrating synth strata which twirl around in a vertiginous atmosphere where synth layers abound and cadences alternate between in a frenzy of jerky and melodious movements. At around the 6th minute, a dramatic calm is settling where Jarre presents us its new toy, the Fairlight samplers. Behind the floating synth pads, noises of all kinds (voices, bass, cello, plane reactor….) dress the atmosphere of a rich and innovative sound texture. A superb passage that leads us towards a jerkier tempo at around the 11th minute, where gorgeous solos are criss-crossing in full harmony. A great moment in EM!
With its hands smashing and its wild rhythm Les Chants Magnétiques II became one of Jarre classics. Suave and energetic, solos are in symbiosis with the rhythmic supported by good percussions, a good bass line and nervous arpeggios which are melting themselves on quixotic rails, before falling in the dark arms of Part III. A highly atmospheric track which opens the masterly Part IV. An electronic hymn to sweetness and tenderness Part IV is a catchy melody on suave synth arrangements which go straight deeply under the skin to awake the roots of our emotions. A great track where the use of samplings is superbly surprising, with percussions at once slamming and vaporous; unique to Jarre style. Les Chants Magnétiques V closes on another mix of samba/rumba which made the strangeness of the cosmic monuments that are Oxygene and Equinox.
Les Chants Magnétiques is a splendid opus. A huge work because of samplings insert here and there. Heterogeneous sounds which add an even more surrealist dimension to an album that already surpasses the limits of imagination. An indispensable album of great EM!


Sylvain Lupari (2006)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream : http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=8949

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