Richard-Eastham wrote: ↑Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:35 pm if somebody was to ask what the most "perfectly executed" JMJ track is, I would say Magnetic Fields Pt. 4.
It has a wonderful structure, the percussion is delicate (not the derivative thud thud of the Electronica years) and the melody is haunting. It has that melancholia that characterises so much of JMJ's music has but combines it with an optimism too. The structure builds over several verse-chorus-verse-chorus repeats, with little sonic additions each time. The vocoder chorus that starts at 2' 07" is distinctive but what makes it special is that bewitching "breaks like a wave" thing at 2' 33" when it reaches a tipping point. Same effect happens in Chronologie Pt. 1, when the music sort of tumbles over the other side of a high point at 1' 58".
The astonishing thing about Magnetic Fields Pt. 4 is that tipping point is reached well before halfway in a track that lasts 6' 12". It seems so brave to bring that point forward so early in a track and allow the second half to sort of drift away in a dream like state, before the rushing train and closing doors conclude things. Suggests JMJ was supremely confident about what he was doing here. So if one track was to capture JMJ's approach to composition and musicality, I would say it is Magnetic Fields Pt. 4: Long form, instrumental, delicate, melodic, the use of "found sound" with the train (ref to his GRM days) and a sadness yet an unbridled optimism too. It's faultless.
There is also something about that time, the early 1980s.
MF4 melody seems to be saying I will see you soon even though you are no longer here.
There's five albums worth of material in MF if we make these alternations :
90s Big Beat (MF1 pt1)
Take out pads, take down Bass two octaves, add heavy drums
JmJ would done what Underworld, Chemical Brothers, Prodigy did : Big Beat.
Avant Garde (MF1 pt2)
Some musicians as Brian Eno would made a whole album out of it.
House (MF1 pt3)
Latin style percussion JmJ programs gives it a house flavour.
Bass down two octaves makes it deep. Keep accompaniment same.
Removing cheesy pads 12min30 to throughout pt3.
Replacing cheesy lead sound 12min45 with distorted Rhodes adds deepness houseness.
End solo keep as it is.
Make these changes becomes House.
90s Drum N Bass (MF2)
Keep pecussion and bass same speed,
take Bass down two octaves
slow down everything else : becomes Drum N Bass.
(Also replacing cheesy lead melody sound with something gritty).
Harold Budd, Steve Roach would made a whole album of similar vibes.
World music (MF5)
Exploring folk guitar styles worldwide to electronic accompaniment.
There we have it :
where many musicians would made 5 albums from the concepts in MF
JmJ made just one.
Moreover JmJ would have foreshadowed three EM Genres :
House, 90s Big Beat, 90s Drum N Bass.