Search - Jean-Michel Jarre :: Zoolook

Jean-Michel Jarre
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

Jarre, the son of film composer Maurice Jarre, had already cemented his reputation as a seminal electronic/new age figure with the late-'70s albums Oxygene and Equinoxe. But 1984's Zoolook was a more urbane effort, fleshin...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Jean-Michel Jarre
Title: Zoolook
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Dreyfus
Release Date: 2/1/1994
Album Type: Original recording reissued
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Pop
Styles: Electronica, Meditation, Dance Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Zoolook
UPCs: 764911614526, 042282376312, 042282376329, 042282376343, 042282475022, 3460503614529, 764911614540, 076491161452

Jarre, the son of film composer Maurice Jarre, had already cemented his reputation as a seminal electronic/new age figure with the late-'70s albums Oxygene and Equinoxe. But 1984's Zoolook was a more urbane effort, fleshing out tape-looped voices with gurgling, washy synthesizers and on-the-money live players, notably Zappa/Talking Heads guitarist Adrian Belew and Miles Davis bassist Marcus Miller. Less cosmic pretense and more information-age irony, Zoolook, with bizarre titles like "Wooloomooloo" and "Zoolookologie" had as much to do with media-manipulators like Laurie Anderson-who also makes a cameo-as proto-ambientists like Robert Rich or Brian Eno, with whom Jarre is usually bracketed. --James Rotondi

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CD Reviews

Good, but...
J. Ortiz | Maryland, USA | 02/05/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I bought it expecting to have that great cassette that my brother brought once directly from Europe a long ago when I was a kid, turned now into a high quality CD (that part is OK). But then I got (a little, or very?) disappointed because Zoolook and Zoolookologie, precisely the two titles that I like the most from this production, were "remixed". I know that it says that this was a "reissued" recording but I was not expecting it to be half-original, half-edited.

Whose great idea was that? Why didn't they keep the originals and then just added the remixes as extras in all that remaining space like many other artists do when they make compilations or stuff like that? If anyone has heard the original recording back from the 80's, they know what I'm talking about. Although the Zoolook remix is not so bad because it sounds practically identical to the original, with maybe just a couple of seconds more in length, Zoolookologie was altered in a way that downgraded it instead of keeping the magic of the original one. (Man, my favorite one...)

The music is the same. They didn't make another "version" like it happens in many of his later compilations where he has to make singles out of tracks that are part of a continuous chain of titles with no gap between them. That is understandable. But those new cuts in Zoolookologie where the bass fades away because whoever was mixing it (I pray to God it wasn't JMJ himself!) didn't do a good job, take a lot out of the PERFECT matched rythm of the original one.

The original is a real JMJ classic; this new "reissued" version was a flop from my point of view. It was unnecessarily altered just to make it longer. Maybe you can extend time, but not the perfect balance that the original had. It sounds incoherent, out of rythm in those altered parts. Someone like me, who plays the original over and over so much that remembers it note from note, instrument by instrument, can clearly and sadly hear the difference, not for the best really. They took out in its climax that nice catchy part where they pick the bass after the percussion solo to return to the main rythm before ending. One of the best parts of the original, gone forever, not even relocated somewhere else in the track. :-(

I wish they could make an "Original Remastered" version, and not a "Reissued" one with unnecessary mixes. Just put the mixes at the end as extras. I for sure would buy it again if I could get the version that I remember so much. If I am not wrong from what I recall, the original recording had a nice booklet explaining how he recorded and mixed the many different voice samplings that he used in all the tracks to create that unique "music". It was one of the highlights of his production, because it was like an "ethnological" music experiment (listen carefully to Ethnicolor, the first track, and you'll get the meaning of its name) combining the vocalizations from different languages, genders, cultures... This new one has mostly just musician and production credits repeated in different languages over and over, not much to say about its true production value...

But If you are a new JMJ fan, I recommend this one very much anyway. It is one of his best works, and out from the two remixes, the other tracks are the originals. Great ones all.
The muse at his most playful
Paul Lawrence | Australia | 10/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Yep, IMHO this is always the Jarre album that I go to when I want something fun, whimsical and light hearted. I've no idea what he was drinking at the time he made this but it was working for him. Given the number of reviews already posted for this album I'll just add a few quick points about this disc and hope they help out the prospective buyer.

Firstly, the aforementioned light hearted nature of the release. Not that Jarre was ever some sort of gothic doom electronica kind of guy, but here the lightness of being is most assertive, a whole range of quick rhythms keeping this albums tracks sprightly and festive.

Secondly there is still enough introspective segments and still enough of that haunting Jarre trademark to provide counterpoints to all the shafts of light. This is particularly welcome in such instrumental music as it helps with the pacing and enables the album to be listened to in one sitting and digested by the listener as a comprehensible whole.

Lastly, as you'd expect the sound is good, there is space in the arrangements. Thankfully not every nook and cranny has been filled with sound (don't you just hate recordings killed by too much compression?).

A very worthwhile Jarre release."
Jean-Michel Jarre Zoolook
Adam Jones | Portland Oregon | 01/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This a great techno-dance artisitc allbum from the 80's If you like Laurie Anderson's Big Science you will like this allbum!"