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I listen to a lot of electronic music, but for a techno album to grab my attention - that's a feat.1999 Eleganz Records

For me, most techno is just way too repetitive and irritating.Just because it has a really strong regular dance beat doesn't make itgood! Jean-Michel is an unfortunately confusing band name for this one-manmusical project by Thomas B?cker. It sounds very little likeJean-Michel Jarre, and people keep asking me what's the connection?French? New-age? Nope. Sometimes boppy and dancey, sometimesaggressive, and other times downbeat, blended in with some of the mostbeautiful acoustic guitar and restrained breakbeat you've ever heard.The build-up is long and gradual, but by the middles of the songs,you're drawn into it and there's no getting out. Some of the songs evenhave some jazzy improvisational interludes! 'Supernova,' one of themost brilliant pieces of trip-ambient-intelligent-techno I've everheard, is constantly changing and shifting, yet carrying through theentire piece a kind of energy, mood and melody that is quite appealing.Since the piece is so diverse, it is almost a crime to sample just oneminute of it, so I sampled two! I wish it was more widely available inNorth America; I'd tell everyone to buy it. Fortunately, a couple ofbig mailorder places do at least list it in their catalog now, althoughat very expensive import prices and with a "can backorder" status.