Sound Of VR #6: Jean-Michel Jarre - Equinoxe

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Sound Of VR #6: Jean-Michel Jarre - Equinoxe
January 1, 2017

French composer Jean-Michel Jarre is one of the most prominent electronic music pioneers; his creations immensely contributed to drive the electronic music awareness and democratize music compositions for synthesizers.

 

Released in 1978, Equinoxe didn't gain positive professional reviews but was a huge success worldwide with the audience.

 

Melody Maker's review at the time of Équinoxe's release scorned the record, saying "it is as slushily, pseudo-galactically crass and vapid as last year's Oxygène. The melodies are trite, harmonies predictable, textures almost determinedly hackneyed (even down to artificial 'weather' effects to generate mood). There isn't even much that's danceable."

 

A retrospective review by Allmusic commented, "Using more than 13 different types of synthesizers, Jarre combines whirling soundscapes of multi-textured effects, passages, and sometimes suites to culminate interesting electronic atmospheres... So much electronic color is added to every track that it is impossible to concentrate on any particular segment, resulting in waves of synth drowning the ears at high tide."

 

The LP cover strangely resembles a crowd of spooky creatures wearing VR goggles, and the music itself sounds like an analog music anticipation of a VR world. In spite of the unfriendly reviews at the time, this is truly a timeless musical piece. Listen to Equinoxe part 5 and watch Jean-Michel Jarre play Equinoxe part 4 (and deal with an amazing amount of analog machines) here:

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