30 December 2009

Erosmachine - Jean Michel Jarre

Erosmachine is the 2:54 b-side to Jean Michel Jarre's 1971 7" single 'La Cage'. Like La Cage, it is an experimental track based around manipulated tape loops and acoustically-altered analogue recordings. In a later interview around the time of Chronologie, Jarre recalls measuring and splicing the magnetic tape to create the background rhythm track, composed of clanging metal and twanged steel rulers, forming a mechanical, machine-like background. The same rhythmic pastiche is re-used in Chronologie Part II as a representation of time passing, this time created with far less effort using a computer.

Erosmachine is a disturbing track, as over these mechanical twangings and grindings is the breathy sound of a woman, gasping and moaning, and electronic chords straight out of early David Cronenberg soundtracks. It's like the theme song to some mad, sexual horror film - the rape scene from 'Tetsuo: The Iron Man', or those penetrating cables from a H.R. Giger painting. And then, at the end, the screaming starts...

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