24 thoughts on “The Synthesizers Of Jean Michel Jarre

    1. I’m just a modest 50 year old electronics enthusiast. On the plus side, I only had one real Casio FZ-1.
      But the emotion I felt at 8 years old listening to Oxigene in my father’s HI FI is identical to the one I still feel now, a dive into the deep end.
      Put yourself in the shoes of those who listened to these hallucinating pieces when nothing of the kind existed: sounds that did not yet exist, as television was not yet associated with music “there is no video clip”. I would like to point out that those generations created scenographies only inside your mind. Video dreams.

  1. yeah, nice, but we’ve seems over and over, and we know he’s got tons of stuff. I don’t. he should make much better stuff given what he’s got. He’s become boring. Kids with much less gear make much more interesting stuff (Atom TM, Naster not on, Alva Noto….. Go On, push the “thumbs down button” !

      1. no it’s not : I’m really bothered that with such an arsenal, nothing better or creatively ambitious comes out. Sure he made good stuff and great shows, but it’s like “ooh, look at my machines, look at the mythology”. Well, that’s comfortably boring, this is just a museum and it’s dead.

        1. I am into detroit , tech and elcetro. Got into synth stuff in the late 70’s.
          Jarre has a very important place in electronic musical history. I have seen him live a few times and they where stunning gigs, (Toulouse and Limoges) From the Detroit escalator company’s Abstract forward Motion, to Luke slaters Seeing sense, and maybe Drexciyas Bubblemetropolis ,Jarre’s influence seems evident.
          I can never see anyone ever, holding up defunkt Ipads etc and it somehow having the same kudos as this gear.
          Nice one jarre

        2. I henri i agree in some of your comments, Jarre career is pretty much down, and i m talking about new music, he is playing music from the past and thats it, but he is a legend, we re still talking about Mozart, Beethoven, and sometimes we are bored with this music, we re living new age, and those electronics groups you mention need to survive the time to be considered as good.

      1. Jarre is a gifted musician who happens to share many of the talents of his father.

        He benefited from being first – but he also delivered musically and as a performer.

        FYI – this set up is from an excellent live performance of the entire Oxygene album, on the original instruments.

  2. Christopher Franke said he decided it was time to leave Tangerine Dream when synths became so common, the band lost its cutting-edge relevance. The lexicon lost part of its mysticism once it spread. Jarre is hung on that hook, with everyone glazzy-eyed for just the hits. Being a true originator by hitting the crest of that first big wave of synthesizers, he also took on the baggage of being a godfather. People don’t want new explorations nearly as often as they want familiarity. I was certainly one who was knocked out by “Oxygene” when it appeared, but the real roof-raiser was “Zoolook.” Sampling really set fire to something good in him at that moment. I’d love to hear him do another similar stylistic zag, as each track on that album is a gem and a good object lesson in how to think at a new angle.

  3. Jarre’s music has never been my taste. However, don’t forget to put what you see in the context of the time it was made. Oxygene came out in 1976, when many of the commenters on here were still with the angels. Having even one voltage-controlled oscillator was a big deal at the time, and the technical workarounds these pioneers had to solder together are unthinkable in a time where Garageband has more capabilities than this whole setup combined.

  4. I have tons of respect for Jaree…. but

    I don’t feel like he has kept up with the times in a meaningful way. Also, just from owning and actually listening to his music…. he isn’t really a great synth programmer or composer.

    He’s was a rich kid born with a foot in the door. Also, hasn’t he recently been caught using the built-in sequences on one of the Roland groove boxes, unmodified, in a track?

    All that said… LOOK AT ALL THOSE SYNTHS!!!! 🙂

  5. For me, JMJ is proof that even rich kids can create something of lasting importance and beauty. When I first heard his classic albums nearly two decades after their release I was mesmerized. There are some beautiful sounds in there, be they comparitively simple to today’s ears, that I can listen to over and over again. Likewise with Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and the other early pioneers. Some of the stuff might be simple in contrast with the technical possibilities they had, but you have to keep in mind that they had a different aesthetic conception of what a nice or fitting sound was and they probably cared more for the whole and less for showcasing how clever a programmer they are. These are musicians we’re talking about here.

  6. With the low cost of both analog and digital synthesizers today we are in a massive golden period of opportunity for people interested in synthesis hardware or software. Comparatively speaking, to what it used to cost to buy gear like this, we are all “rich kids”. Why is it so hard to appreciate someone else’s love for the same gear rich or otherwise? You got your stuff, go make your own history if you can. While your at it, maybe showing respect for people that laid the groundwork for all of us wouldn’t be that hard.

  7. Jarre has made a couple of attempts at more contemporary music. The albums were OK, not great but I expect that the sales reflected peoples desire for him to do something different.

  8. Regarding the actual performance of Oxygene in the full video: No multitracking, no prerecorded samples – this is like one knob per function gone crazy – one synth per timbre! Is it a monumental waste to have 5 different types of VCS3 to play synth wind and laser sounds? Sure, but there is no compromise on his attempt to recreate the album live. I don’t particularly like Jarre but you gotta admire what it took to get all this orchestrated. My only hope is that all these beautiful vintage synths have a loving home where they are used after this performance.

  9. The performance is great, I watch it from time to time. He then toured europe with the gear. I so wish I had flown over to see it. I’m a huge fan and these days listen to this ‘live’ version more often than the album version.

    Plus, playing ‘spot the synth’ is a lot of fun. Sadly I think his last great album was Rendez-Vous. The albums that follow have merit but don’t engage me as much.

  10. Can’t believe the lack of respect for someone in 1976, that created such brilliant music… Guess people are hyped up on everything has to be produce, then produced more and add more effects… Guess people on here are just kids, hooking on to what’s on the radio…

  11. Amazing video, Thank you Syntopia and Jean Michael Jarre! What a incredible incredible collection on synthesizers. I do not think that most people have the slightest idea on just how complicated it is to preform live with these modular synthesizers. Really really incredible!
    Thanks again!

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