St Germain is BACK with a refreshingly creative project!

Ludovic Navarre, aka St Germain’s first album in 15 years is an exciting interweaving of downtempo electronic and deep house, jazz, folk, African, world, & country music.

St Germain is perhaps best-known for his downtempo singles, “So Flute” and “Rose Rouge” from his Tourist LP from 2000.  I confess, when I read that the artist was releasing his first album in over a decade I was skeptical whether or not his best years were behind him. Thankfully, Navarre quickly dispelled my doubts as soon as I tuned in to the opening track.

Here are “So Flute…”

…and “Rose Rouge.”

For the album’s promotion, St Germain commissioned Urban Art creator Gregos, known for his smiling and frowning faces stuck on walls throughout Paris and Europe, to create a series of masks painted with the flags of the nations of the world. Navarre then traveled the globe covertly installing the masks in public spaces. His website features a map with mask markers indicating in which countries they have been found. Sending his listeners on a global treasure hunt, those who find the mask for their country receive the double LP for free.

Artists take note – This brilliant, heady music and the creator’s unique promotional project are precisely the stuff that will make an album successful in the digital age.

Check out video for the first single which includes footage of the mask installations below.

UPDATE: Delighted to find that my local indie record shop had a copy in stock!

Published in: on October 25, 2015 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Christmas Lecture Goodies

It’s been a very busy season this past month!  I’m developing six multimedia lectures (and all are music-related, of course.)  The first will take place at the city’s finest bookshop in January, and is free to the public.  Locals are encouraged to attend.

I have also been approached by a local university professor who is interested in me bringing the series to their American Music class.

The more technical talks on subjects like Managing Personal Servers With 10k+ Files will be offered to an area Meet Up group and will detail handy functions such as on-the-fly real-time trans-coding to best suit the DAC of the end user and to ensure smooth playback at any speed.

Thankfully just in time for my first lecture I received the last two albums I needed for my debut presentation.

The first is that glorious cult classic, that godfather of industrial noise – Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music.

It’s a mesmerizing listen.  This 2012 edition is a new stereo mix of the original 1979 quadrophonic release.  And finally holding it in my hands I read the notes on the back which confirmed my supposition that Reed was inspired by the work of La Monte Young.

Lou Reed - Metal Machine Music

And the other wishlist item came as a total surprise.  It’s Raymond Scott’s 1946+ recordings from Manhattan Research Incorporated, released as a triple gatefold 3LP set in 2001 in the Netherlands.  My copy turned up in Malaysia and arrived in time for Christmas.

If you haven’t heard these fantastic snippets of futurama space-age electronic musique concrete, hop over to the Tube and have a listen.  Scott developed a stockpile of electronic noise generators decades before the synthesizer, and in the 50s every company wanted his futuristic sound for their advertising.

My favorite vocal samples from this collection:

“Don’t beat your wife… every night… chew Wrigley’s!”

and“Someday, science tells us… we’ll be able to clean our walls… electronically.”

Raymond Scott - Manhattan Research Inc

Also picked up a German import of A Clockwork Orange OST, and I’ve just recently developed a fondness for the downtempo stylings of deep house.  (Don’t think floorstompers or heavy bass… think 120BPM with a focus on smooth mid-tones and jazz chords.)
I’ll try to post a few prime cuts in the coming weeks.

See you at the lecture!