As we know, 1998 was the year of the French World Cup. To celebrate that, JMJ was asked to do a concert at the Eiffel Tower, Nuit Electronique. The setlist was all over the place, with mainly remixes of the Oxygene 7-13 album, and some very interesting renderings of other tracks like the Japanese Eldorado, a new track called Paris Underground and a pretty good performance of the mental TK collaboration Together Now.
Paris 1998 is probably one of the worst JMJ concerts I've not been to, but I have warmed to it over the years. I'm not a fan of playing remixes at a JMJ concert, but Apollo 440's drummers make it all work pretty well. And I do like the new track(s). And there were rappers. The concert was held right after France had won the world cup soccer and that could only account to positive vibes for the concert, I guess. I wasn't there so I'm not really sure.
Then there was the release of three off-album tracks: Together Now, Oxygen in the Ghetto and Rendez-Vous 98. Together Now is, as I previously mentioned, a mental over-the-top track which is all over the place. I think most of that is attributed to TK's production. An early version can be heard in a report from Japanese TV where JMJ plays a demo to TK, which sounds a bit like September from the Revolutions album. The CD single also had an equally mental Oxygene 13 remix by TK.
Oxygen in the Ghetto, which had a very limited physical release, mainly because the single was cancelled at the last minute, The song was played at the Eiffel tower concert and has to be the weirdest JMJ track by far. Well, at least I thought at the time. Why would you combine JMJs music with rap? Nowadays, there's actually quite a lot of rap songs that sample JMJs music so this might have been a visionary move in that regard. Rappers Trigga da Gambla and Dadou used a slowed down version of Oxygene 4 for this.
And finally there was a fairly decent rendering of Rendez-Vous 4 by Apollo 440, called Rendez-Vous 98. It was the world cup theme song for ITV. I think that makes sense, because I always thought the anthemic RV4 should be France's national anthem (the Marseillaise is sampled in this remix).
Next to these singles, there was the release of a remix album called "Odyssey Through o2". The release of Oxymoreworks is the whole reason I am making this post, because I decided to play the other remix albums Jarremix and OTo2. And so I went into the video vault of 1998.
To promote the album in France, JMJ and DJ Claude Monnet played the album on TV with Claude spinning records and JMJ playing with the ArKaos software, that was used at the Oxygene 7-13 tour and a demo version was available on the Oto2 CD.
And then there's the promotional things he did like appear in a Japanese comedy show (at 27m30s)
where he and one of the hosts broke the language barrier by using sign language.
And to top it all off, he appeared in an episode of English comedy show Fantasy World Cup
alongside a drunk Brigitte Nielsen. He did well in that episode. Brigitte, not so much. This and the previous clip are probably my favourite TV appearances of JMJ.
It's a strange year, 1998. For me it was the year I kinda lost my touch with JMJ and his music (which returned later), because of the strange decisions he made. I came out of a rough 1997 and personally things were looking better in 1998, which might also be why I lost track of JMJ because I was focusing on other things.