October 15, 2015

St Germain

ARTIST: St Germain
TITLE: St Germain
LABEL: Nonesuch
Ludovic Navarre, who performs and records as St Germain, is a key creator of the cool French style of electronica that made stars of Air and Daft Punk. His 2000 album Tourist is a classic -- a thoughtful fusion of deep house and jazz, it’s the rare record that rewards focused listening but also makes for ideal background music, like an EDM version of Eno’s Music For Airports. The detail is what sets St Germain apart from his peers -- believe it or not, this is his follow-up to his three-million-seller, 15 years later. And he’s ditched the jazz completely in favor of two styles that preceded it: blues and the music of West Africa’s Mande empire. Start with track 1, built around his studio recordings of kora, balafon, ngoni and guitar, and a chilling sample of Lightnin’ Hopkins. St Germain is at his best working with vocal samples: check out how he employs the female voice on 2 and 4, and how he mixes African and American singers on 6. Most global electronica projects like this are hot garbage, but St Germain is the exception that proves the rule – his music always sounds handmade, organic and soulful even as it keeps you at a distance.
TOP TRACKS:    1    2    4    6
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    3    5    7    8

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