MAGNETIC FIELDS / LES CHANTS MAGNETIQUES
(Disques Dreyfus, vinyl, 1981)
|Spot le différence: Franco and Anglophone album covers|
One of the major protagonists of Jarre's new sound was of course the new Fairlight sampler, a keyboard connected to a small computer and screen which could effectively electronically 'sample' a sound which could then be played back in various tones and pitches on the keyboard. Top artists of the moment like Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel had already used them on their respective 1980 albums, and the Fairlight was quite a boon for an artist like Jarre who had been educated by Pierre Schaefer, exponent of musique concrète and the concept that music was made up not of notes but of sounds...
And sounds is what we do get aplenty on the new album...aircraft, trains, and even /shock! horror!) babbling voices all mixed in with the rich layers of Jarre's impressive synthesiser arsenal.
|Fair enough: Jarre gets to grips with new sampling technology ca. 1980|
While Magnetic/Champs kept Jarre on the (electronic) musical map, its chart success was even more modest than that of Equinoxe, at least in the UK and the rest of Europe, save perhaps for his native France where he was achieving superstar status, the likes of which had not been seen since Johnny Hallyday and Charles Aznavour. But meanwhile on the other side of the world, one country was keeping a keen eye, and ear, on Jean Michel and his music.
Magnetic Fields has recently been re-released on CD (2014) and vinyl LP (2015) by Sony Music,available from usual retailers. It can also be streamed via Spotify.