Jean-Michel Jarre Announces 'Oxygene 3' Album, Final Installment in 40-Year Trilogy

Tom Sheehan
Jean Michel Jarre

Earlier this year, Jean-Michel Jarre released The Heart of Noise, the second part in his Electronica album series that, overall, has seen him work with an extensive cast of collaborators including Gesaffelstein, Pet Shop Boys, Tangerine Dream, and Armin van Buuren. For his latest project, however, the French electronic music pioneer is going it alone.

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On Friday (Sept. 30), Jarre announced his forthcoming LP, Oxygene 3, which will serve as the third and final installment in his Oxygene trilogy. Scheduled for release Dec. 2, it arrives nearly 40 years to the day of the release of Jarre’s breakthrough 1976 album Oxygene. (The second installment, Oxygene 7-13, came out in 1997.) Oxygene 3 will contain seven new and original tracks titled Parts 14-20.

Jarre states in a press release that during the making of Electronica, he created a track -- now “Oxygene Part 19” -- that provided the fuel for the new album: “[It] made me think about what Oxygene could be if I was composing it today.” However, he states that the new album isn’t a remake, but rather a new chapter.

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“What made the first Oxygene so different at the time, is probably the minimalist aspect, and the fact that there are almost no drums, and I wanted to keep this approach, creating the groove mainly with the sequences and the structure of the melodies only," he says. "I did the first Oxygene on an 8-track tape recorder with very few instruments, with no other choice than being minimalist. I tried to keep this minimalist approach for Oxygene 3.”

Fans will hear excerpts from Oxygene 3 as Jarre heads out on his 38-date Electronica tour next month. The album will be available on CD, vinyl, and as part of a trilogy box set containing all three Oxygene editions (also on CD and vinyl) and a coffee-table book.