French Electronic Music Legend Creates a New Track with…Edward Snowden?

I discovered Jean-Michel Jarre a million years ago when his Oxygene album was played in a long-gone Winnipeg record store called The Autumn Stone. It was so unbelievably ahead of its time.

Jarre is sill making music, his latest being Electronica Vol. 2: The Heart of Noise. Among the collaborators on the album is exiled NSA whistleblower Edward Snowdenn. From the press release:

Collaborating from Snowden’s delivery of his core message, Jarre layers and sculpts the American’s words around a driving techno beat that conjures up a grand sense of chase. The release of the track also coincides with an exclusive track story that has been made available to watch now. Having debuted via The Guardian earlier today, fans can see both Jarre and Snowden speaking with one another in the video about music, politics, privacy and more.

UN Ambassador for UNESCO and activist for Human Rights, Jarre has tirelessly campaigned over the years for the right to free speech, and his collaboration with Snowden reveals yet another side to the multi-faceted Godfather of Electronic Music.

Speaking on ‘Exit’, Jarre said, “I wrote a speedy techno track evoking the constant and hectic production of data and the obsessive quest for more information. I then linked the music with this mad hunt and chase in order to get hold of people like Edward Snowden.

“One of the recurrent themes of Electronica Vol. 1 & 2 is the ambiguous relationship we have with technology. On one side we have the world in our pocket and on the other side, the world is spying on us constantly. Edward Snowden became a modern hero, not by saying ‘stop’, but to be careful regarding the (ab)use of technology. Our future needs brave people like him.”

Snowden also had his say behind the name of the track, adding, “You have a choice and ‘Exit’, whether it’s used as a noun or a verb, is something which we pursue. It’s something where we direct ourselves. It’s about an action which may change everything from where we are to another direction, a departure to somewhere else.”

Vol. 2: The Heart of Noise will be officially released on May 6, 2016, via Sony Music International and is the follow up to the widely lauded ‘ol. 1: The Time Machine LP. With music across both volumes from the Pet Shop Boys, Primal Scream, Pete Townshend, Julia Holter, Lang Lang, Cyndi Lauper, Laurie Anderson, AIR and Peaches to name but a few, Jean-Michel Jarre has assembled his very own dream team of artists to collaborate with across ‘Electronica’. Those who pre-order Vol. 2 will also receive three instant downloads from Jarre’s collaborations with Rone (‘The Heart of Noise’) and Peaches (‘What You Want’) in addition to ‘Exit’.

Let’s have a listen, shall we?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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