It all started, as most arguments in pubs do, with a flippant comment on an unimportant topic. The magnifying effects of booze did the rest.
I said that Jean Michel Jarre was the height of electronic music hopelessness – a vacuous whirlwind of 80’s Saturday-teatime TV show soundtracks hidden behind a preposterous bank of keyboards, stageshows and lasers. To these ears, this still rings fairly true.
The Bar Stranger disagreed furiously, and cited his influence on Orbital, and others, though he may as well have been standing up for Vangelis.
The truth is that ‘JMJ’, as I imagine his bearded fans would call him, produces sub- Kraftwerk nonsense, albeit with a better fireworks show at the end of his gigs.
RQTN, both French and a producer of electronic music, may disagree.
RQTN also makes concept albums – his latest, Decades and Decisions, has a song for various decades from the last 100 years or so. The 80s warrant two, apparently. 1955 – A Shelter For Lovers is the sort of electronic dream music that you’d happily forgotten about, but on sober reflection, wish you hadn’t – it’s lush, trembling and, I daresay, drenched in emotion.
RQTN‘s music would have been decreed fabulously un-cool just a few years ago, but thanks to a slew of excellent synth-pop from the likes of M83, he’s suddenly a musical entrepreneur, mining a seam of forgotten sonic textures and metronomically correct MIDI beats.
Such is the fickle nature of cool. Stop worrying, arguing and procrastinating, and simply listen. Warning: there may or may not be laser lightshow accompaniment.