The Timewriter

Jigsaw Pieces

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Symphonic intros are often an easy way for electronic producers to give their album that highbrow musical feel. Anyone can set their keyboards on orchestra and think they sound like Leonard Bernstein. But given the fact that Jean F. Cochois spent nine years at a special musical boarding school in Germany, an entire album full of classical pieces like the opening "Travelogue" wouldn't be inappropriate. Of course, Cochois prefers to work in the genre of tech-house, meaning the delicate string arrangements give way to bouncing beats and snapping hi-hats. But Cochois also does this better than most. Like a techier Kevin Yost or a more soulful Terry Francis, tracks like "Here Comes the Sun" and "Belief" cruise forward without friction while the spirit of house vocal samples swirls through the ether. "Sunset Walk" combines the best of all worlds, blending a heartaching saxophone with go-pause-go beats and a stirringly beatless string and vocal ending. Jigsaw Pieces is a fine argument for how musical electronic music can be, while still remaining austere and futuristic.

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