Our final cover star of the year is the legendary Jean-Michel Jarre and we're bundling the magazine up with a silver vinyl pressing of the synth superstar's ultra-rare debut single from 1971. It's the first time this piece of electronic music history has ever been reissued in its original seven-inch format.
The ever-charming Jean-Michel Jarre is in top form for our in-depth interview, giving us the lowdown on his brilliant new album, 'Oxymore', a musique concrète record crafted with 21st century technology. An immersive and incredible sound experience, it marks a return to his roots at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, the electroacoustic music studio where he learned his trade under Pierre Schaeffer in the late 1960s. As well as discussing the album, Jarre also speaks about his early influences – his mother was a celebrated member of the French Resistance – and offers his thoughts on the future of music, as you might expect from an artist who is always looking to move inexorably forward.
Since this is our final issue of 2022, we have our Albums Of The Year rundown this month too. How many of your favourites have made it into our Top 50? And what killer records have we somehow managed to miss? Our supporting cast meanwhile includes Plaid, Acid Klaus, Belbury Poly, Ron Geesin, Pyrolator and Pictish Trail, plus we report on the winners of this year's Oram Awards and bid a fond farewell to Polytechnic Youth, one of the finest independent labels of the last decade. All of which will keep you going longer than a bumper box of mince pies and is undoubtedly also a lot better for you.
We have something extra special to accompany this month's magazine – a limited edition silver vinyl reissue of Jean-Michel Jarre's 1971 debut single, complete with a faithful reconstruction of the picture sleeve. This record has never been reissued until now and copies of the ultra-rare original disc usually change hands for upwards of £200.
The seven-inch boasts two tracks, the intensely rhythmical 'La Cage' on the A-side and the more playful 'Erosmachine' on the reverse. Jarre recorded the former at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, working at night and in secret because students weren't allowed to use the GRM equipment without supervision. "We didn't even dare turn a light on," he remembers. He employed banks of oscillators and filters on 'La Cage', while 'Erosmachine' is a more obviously musique concrète piece. Together, the two tracks add up to a highly significant and truly superb slice of electronic music history.
As with all of our music releases, this record is strictly limited and only available to readers of Electronic Sound, so be sure you get your copy right away.
Théâtre Marigny, Paris - 2007
Symphony Hall, Birmingham - 2008
RAH, London - 2008
Wembley Arena, London - 2009
NIA, Birmingham - 2009
POP Bercy, Paris - 2010
NIA, Birmingham - 2010
O2 Arena, London - 2010
Zénith Aréna, Lille - 2010
Port Hercule, Monaco - 2011
TUI Arena, Hannover - 2011
Festival International de Carthage - 2013
Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham - 2016