Etienne Jaumet’s 2009 debut album Night Music made considerable waves in the world of electronic music, garnering rave reviews along the way. Given that the follow-up, La Visite, was recorded one song per day, one could be forgiven for wondering just what M. Jaumet – also one half of Theremin-toting electro-pop duo Zombie Zombie – has been up to in the interim.
“Oh I was doing lots of other things and had no time off!” he chuckles. “With Zombie Zombie, of course, but also I collaborated in the UK with [electronica producer] James Holden. I played on his album The Inheritors. I also worked with Richard Pinhas of [French electro group] Heldon. I had two months free but needed to take a holiday so this left just one month to do the album, so I had to do it very quickly. It was now or never. Plus, I share my studio with other bands so I only had a couple of days free each week. So, I decided to do one song a day.
“In fact, it was one per afternoon because I don’t wake up very early,” he admits. “Each day, I had no idea what the song would be like at the end. I was just experimenting with my keyboards. It was intense! But when I’d done 10, it was over.”
Although similarly moody and meditative, La Visite is more immediate than its predecessor, a by-product, at least in part, of the rapid recording process.
I don’t think about my music, I just do it. It’s very spontaneous.
“With the first album I wanted to do what all the prog bands in the 70s used to do,” Jaumet explains, “one long very epic song taking up one side of a record, and then several, more easy to listen to, on the other side. I don’t think about my music now, I just do it.
“So the difference between the first album and this one is my understanding of how I make music. It’s very spontaneous. If I go for more than one take – maybe I do it better – but in a way I lose the mystery of the composition. Thinking too much is not good for me because I lose a bit of myself. I think it’s why my music’s so simple.”
The positive feedback is already flowing, but, crucially, recognition on the homefront has also finally arrived.
“Before, the good reviews came from outside France,” he says, “but now that’s changed. For this album, I think people understand more that there’s a composer behind it, it’s not just me with a producer.
“Carl Craig worked on my debut album, and he’s a very well-known Detroit techno producer. At first I didn’t realise how well-known! So I decided not to have guests on the album and I also did all the vocals. I’ve collaborated a lot in the past. This time I wanted to prove that I could do something by myself.”
**Prog File **
Etienne Jaumet (all instruments)
Progressive synthpop meets twilight techno and a saxophone
La Visite is out now via Versatile