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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

JARRE JEAN MICHEL: Equinoxe Infinity (2018)

An unexpected album which was voted as the best album of 2018. Both by me and by the main magazines and webzines dealing with EM

1 The Watchers (Movement 1) 2:58

2 Flying Totems (Movement 2) 3:54

3 Robots Don't Cry (Movement 3) 5:44

4 All that you Leave Behind (Movement 4) 4:01

5 If the Wind Could Speak (Movement 5) 1:32

6 Infinity (Movement 6) 4:14

7 Machines are Learning (Movement 7) 2:07

8 The Opening (Movement 8) 4:16

9 Don't Look Back (Movement 9)


10 Equinoxe Infinity (Movement 10) 7:33

Columbia ‎– 19075876442

(CD/DDL/Spotify 39:55) (V.F.)

(French School, Cosmic Dance)

It had to happen one day! Jean-Michel Jarre had to make a comeback just to silence me and silence those who demanded nothing less than a comeback to the roots of the famous French musician. No Techno Jean-Michel. Neither dance hymns or synth-pop. Just EM where the tones of yesterday could merge with those of today while having a cohesion as much cosmic, as harmonic and rhythmic of those years when you dominated EM outrageously. A relic of Equinoxe? Hmm ... If Oxygene 2 deserved its place, I still have trouble with the 3. But yes, an Equinoxe not reviewed or corrected! But a suite created on the observation of its artwork where a thousand pairs of eyes scrutinized us without anyone having guessed for all these years? What a story it would be! And that's a lot the story of EQUINOXE INFINITY which offers almost 40 minutes of a powerful, lively and melodious EM where all genres are exploited with a thin thread that ties them all to the roots of the French synthesist. A great album my friends… yes a great album!

The Watchers (Movement 1) fills our ears to the rim with an industrial introduction. Machines are humming among scattered sound explosions while a ghost melody wanders in an overheated ambience where visions of Blade Runner, both by Vangelis and Hans Zimmer, flirt with memories of Chronology and especially distant memories of Equinoxe. This opening of ambience elements gives way to the rhythm of Flying Totems (Movement 2) which nervously fidgets with its hyperactive sequences. Explosions are always on fire while the layers of apocalyptic synths are like the eyes of motionless cyclops who scrutinize the heavy movement of juicy arpeggios in a futuristic vision that immerses us in the essences of Revolutions. Intense and delicious! Robots Don't Cry (Movement 3) is this track that arouses our feelings inordinately. The rhythm is fluid like a waltz between robots whose clumsy and jerky movements are wrapped in the mellotron which still gives me goosebumps. A splendid title which is worth any single of all the albums of Jean-Michel Jarre. All that you Leave Behind (Movement 4) turns into a big down-tempo after its ambient introduction. The chords, they are juicy, the subtlety between the paradoxes and this transition between yesterday and tomorrow is simply phenomenal here. Especially with the use of the Laser Harp.

As short as simple, like a gust of wind, If the Wind Could Speak (Movement 5) draws its effects between the samples of Zoolook and of Souvenirs from China. And because it's necessary, Infinity (Movement 6) is a hymn to modern dance that flirts dangerously with Zoolook, particularly Zoolookology. It's an EDM track with essences of Equinoxe and Oxygene on a techno beat (boom-boom) of today. Heavy, powerful and very melodious. Machines Are Learning (Movement 7) is a static track with a furious bass line that is reminiscent of Equinoxe Part 5 and Part 6, and a nice collection of vocal effects. And then comes the heavy Techno from The Opening (Movement 8) and its furious line of throbbing bass sequences. There is a splendid break in this title which brings us towards a heavy electronic breakdance fusion imbued with orchestral harmonies which mate with these arpeggios deriving from Oxygene. It's the 3rd big title of this superb album. Don't Look Back (Movement 9) stands apart with its limpid and fluid structure animated by fluttering sequences and pushed by layers of violin in staccato. It sticks to the more contemporary works of JMJ, like Metamorphoses among other things. But it goes a little better in the heavy musical environment of EQUINOXE INFINITY which ends with an opening of Equinoxe Infinity (Movement 10) flirting with the oceanic effects of Waiting for Cousteau. The main melodious line of the album lies here as a memory that doesn't want to sink into oblivion. The intensity clings onto the orchestrations guiding a final without rhythm towards the apotheosis of a splendid album without faults. An unexpected album which was voted as the best album of 2018. Both by me and by the main magazines and webzines dealing with EM. And suddenly, I'm starting to dream…

Sylvain Lupari (January 11th, 2020) *****

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