It took him fifteen years to release an album. St. Germain’s fist three albums were platinum releases. He was the king of charts. Even though he hadn’t released an album in so long, he worked a lot and released several EP’s and collaborations with many artists.
Tourist was a glorified nu jazz record, a pioneer in the genre. After it, Ludovic wanted to take a rest for a while in order to collect material for the new album. The wait has paid off. What this album brings is a truly eclectic amalgam of everything he has been doing so far, plus some interventions and experimentation with sound.
His style is a mixture of nu jazz, house, downtempo and acid jazz, always fresh and inventive. With each album, he bring something new to the table but he never fails his core – jazz and blues. His idols are Bob Marley, Miles Davis and Kool and The Gang. It can be felt as a subtext. On the surface, influences emerge as something completely different.
Self-titled album offers African traditional music with traditional Malian instruments followed by guitars, saxophone and electronic elements. This combination is not confusing because it is so meticulously put together that is sounds thrilling from the beginning to the very last track. African vocalists add up to the exotic sound that sucks you in the first time you listen to the album.
I was impressed by his skill to combine modern electronic and traditional jazz in such an attractive manner. St.Germain always knew how to stay out of the box. In some way, he participates in the box in order to make even bigger subversion. Always unique and special, he showed he knows how to recognize what is necessary for a brilliant album. Perfect production, unusual rhythms and modern sound mixed with the archaic one.
Deep house was the essence on his previous releases and this time it’s is in the background. African sound is more prominent. When you scratch under the surface, you will see a beautiful kaleidoscope of different notes.
Opening track Real Blues has strong percussions and drums with true blues melody, while Sittin Here opens up that African sound that is present until the rest of the album. How Dare You is the most eclectic thing with the powerful male vocal and African instrumental. Forget Me Not is a nucleus of everything this albums has to offer.
Long anticipated album is a perfect score. Good concept, experimentation, smooth texture and interventions. What more can a listener want?