Sunday Sounds: St. Germain | Boulevard

I have the good fortune of landing a partner who loves music as much as I do, who loves to find new music and share it with the people around her. Fortunately, those people usually include me. So, when Cassidy found this article on Mixmag listing, “12 albums that will still blow you away” yesterday, she forwarded it to me straight away.

I’m a fairly nostalgic person by nature, and by choice, so when I read that all of the albums were released in 1995, I was already sold without even hearing a single name on the list. As luck would have it, I knew and had already loved up most of the albums on the list, including St. Germain‘s “Boulevard (The Complete Series).”

At the time of Boulevard’s release, I had another music-loving, music-sharing friend, Steve. He played the album fairly consistently for a while, and it seemed like every time I was blown away by what I was hearing, “St. Germain” was always the answer when I asked what the hell we were listening to. Yet, for some reason, I never went out and bought either of St. Germain’s albums.

Many people have tried, but few succeeded at managing a legitimate fusion of electronic music and jazz. There’s so much nuance to jazz, and much of its musicians’ time is spend working in and out of irregular rhythm and syncopation, whereas in the majority of electronic music, the focus is on an established and regular beats and so much exists within a predictable framework. Throwing these two types of music together is like taking a group of extroverts and a group of introverts and throwing them into a room, then telling them to “just figure it out, and have fun!” More often than not, neither will happen.

St. Germain is a single performer/producer, a french-man named Ludovic Navarre with roots in reggae and 70’s R&B, although from the sound of it, jazz was clearly what lured him into slicing and chopping up samples to compose music of his own. I’ve never had a real connection with jazz. I feel impatient when I listen to it, then frustrated, then I want to listen to something else. But when I listen to St. Germain, it clicks, and I feel like I’m in the right place and that music is all I ever want to listen to. It’s pure aural elation.

This Sunday, be the friend that pushes new and good music on the people in your life. Even if it’s two decades old, new-to-you music, even if you don’t like jazz and you don’t want to try, just push it out. They’ll appreciate it now, and they will no doubt appreciate it in twenty more.

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